Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The American Mink
This is a short story on my experience with a sweet American Mink. At first I thought this beautiful jet black creature was a ferret.. then maybe a weasel. Mink crossed my mind for only for a moment.
The day was a crazy one from the moment I woke and suffice to say we certainly need to trust the process of life. Resistance only leads to more problems. But this day I wonder if it was resistance or a perfect part of the process with perfect timing.
I had planned to take the children to a fun sand castle building contest that was about a hour or more away. Much humming and hawing delayed our scheduled start time. They didn't know I was planning on this as I wasn't even sure myself I was going to go. I ended up going after all and must tell you that after we got in the car we said a little prayer to the highest good that we are open to the adventure that today will bring no matter what may happen. I knew something was off but couldn't quite place it. Less then halfway there my seatbelt malfunctioned. We have a strange little car where the seatbelts do up when you close the door. At this point I took it as a sure and clear sign to turn around and go home.
On our way home I saw this beautiful shiny black creature kicking at the side of the road. This was in the middle of the day already. I skidded to a stop like some stunt driver in the parking lot beside the Mink and spent about 10 minutes watching and trying to figure out what to do. A security guard came over and asked what the problem was. I showed her and then suggested she grab a couple of shovels from the back of the truck in the lot adjacent. I carefully moved this little creature off the side of the road to a cool long patch of grass. I then drove home and told my husband I needed his help. My big strong brave husband grabbed some gloves and headed to the place of interest with me. He gently gathered this beautiful, vulnerable and trusting Mink up and carefully placed her in a box in the back of our car. I should tell you that by now... after I started the car again to head home for a box and my big strong husband.. my seatbelt worked again. I don't need to say how I feel there was a higher purpose at work here.
The children and I quickly drove this little Mink to Wildlife Rescue Association where they were incredibly kind and patient and a genuine care for the animals is evident. They left me with a case number and a call back number if I wanted to check up on the animal they would happily give me a report.
Today, I called to check up on this precious animal and was informed that it was an American Mink! She was born last fall they suspect as she was not quite full grown. She had no signs of lactation so no babies! Yay to no abandoned babies! She had a head injury and they were actually quite surprised and very happy with her recovery as she was on death's door when she came in. Had she not been brought in, she wouldn't have survived. She is doing so well in fact that they have moved her to an outdoor pen where she is running around and playing and will be thinking of releasing her in a few days! I'm so happy about this I can't even express it.
After I did a search on the American Mink.. alot of reminders came up about how these poor animals are kept and slaughtered for fur coats and for mink oil. It's heart wrenching and I hate to add a downer but in seeing this sweet animal so close and being a part of rescuing it.. it's stunning in my mind how someone would kill them just to where their coats on their backs. A hefty reminder that is all. Fur-Free Campaign I took the fur free pledge. It's easy peasy.
Interesting facts about the American Mink you ask? Why sure!!
1. They are related to weasels, otters, European Mink, wolverines, and fishers.
2. Mating occurs during winter; males and females may have more than one partner. (Frisky little mates.. now I understand why my Mom's nickname from my Dad was Minkies growing up! lol)
3. Females give birth to 3 or 4 young during early spring..
4. They can be found in wooded areas and fields near streams and lakes.
5. They are excellent swimmers.
6. Mink are semi-aquatic predators able to hunt both aquatic and terrestrial prey.
7. Like their cousins, the otters, mink are very playful. They are very inquisitive, highly intelligent animals.
8. The animals were tested on their ability to remember different shapes. The order of ability of remembering these different shapes were from best to worst; mink, ferrets, skunks and cats.
9. Mink were in fact found to be more intelligent than certain groups of primates. After considerable training, mink were also found to learn after only one trial. This is a phenomenon usually only observed in higher primates.
10. Their long slim body is covered in glossy, thick dark brown fur with a white patch under the chin and slightly bushy tail. Their fur is usually used for its softness and uniqueness. Their numbers have been reduced because of this reason.
11.. Their numbers have been reduced due to loss of habitat and the effects of pollution on their aquatic food supply. They are usually solitary animals.
That's about all I got for you. :)
Spread the Love folks!