'˜Control of mink key to saving water vole'

Photographers at a country park in Chorley were snap happy as they watched a mink eat eight fish in the space of 30 minutes.

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 3rd February 2017, 12:56 pm

Mick Byrne, an amateur snapper, filmed the creature as it enjoyed its fishy meal on the bank of a brook in Yarrow Valley Country Park on Sunday, January 29.

“I saw this mink at Birkacre Lodge on Sunday morning and it ate eight fish in a half an hour,” the 69 year old told the Guardian.

“These mink need culling otherwise all the wildlife around Birkacre is in danger.

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“He was just diving down into the water and taking them out and eating them.

“Others said he’d finished off a squirrel before that.

“Once all these fish have gone its just going to move on to other animals.”

Councillor Adrian Lowe, who oversees parks and open spaces for Chorley Council, said: “The mink are not native to this country and they do have a massive impact on wildlife particularly in spring as they get into nests and eat eggs, chicks, young birds, adult birds and young animals such as water voles.

“We have had them before and we’ve put humane traps down although we think people have sabotaged them probably misguidedly thinking they are doing good.

“The mink haven’t been as prominent in the last couple of years here at Yarrow, however, we will try the traps again and I would urge people not to mess with them, these animals may look cute but they are predators damaging our native wildlife.

“Humane mink control is essential particularly for water vole conservation or there’s a danger of water voles becoming extinct.”