Looks like one mink will be having a feast this week. In rare video footage, an elusive Everglades mink appeared to be hauling a massive snake in its mouth while crossing a road recently.
Florida resident Hannah Cardenas caught the mink on video and shared it with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which then posted the footage to Facebook. Based on the video, the snake looks to be roughly twice the body length of the mink.
“Imagine the surprise seeing this Everglades mink scampering across the road carrying DINNER!” the FWC posted to Facebook. “A mother and daughter were on their way home from a nature hike in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park when they spotted this mink run across the road in front of them – seconds later, it ran BACK across the road with a GIANT SNAKE in its mouth!”
See the video here:
Everglades Mink Threatened in Florida
The FWC says the Everglades mink, which is threatened in Florida, is hard to study “because this species is small-sized, fast-moving and excellent at remaining out of sight.” People sometimes confuse them with river otters, which are more plentiful.
The Everglades mink faces habitat destruction from changes in the water level in the marshes. That’s usually due to drainage, logging and the construction of dikes, canals and roads in the area. It is one of three types of American mink in Florida, according to Everglades Adventure, all of which also face threats from invasive species like the Burmese python.
You don’t want to sneak up on a mink. The animals can squirt out a smelly liquid that’s not unlike skunk spray when they’re startled. Its aim: to ward off predators and to alert other mink to their presence.
The mink is nocturnal and mostly solitary except during mating season. During that time, female minks have litters of three to six pups who stay with them through autumn.
European Version Is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a list of the extinction status of animal, plant and fungal species. It’s seen as an indicator of global biodiversity. And it currently lists 40,000 species as threatened with extinction.
The European mink is on that list. It is now critically endangered. Among the threats to the species are hunting and trapping, including for use in fashion apparel and accessories, habitat destruction and invasive species and diseases.
The American mink is faring somewhat better than its European counterpart. But intervention will be necessary to keep the latter species from deteriorating to the next stage on the IUCN’s barometer, which is extinct in the wild.