More mink attacks in Felixstowe
KILLER mink may have struck a second time in Felixstowe - completely wrecking another gardener's prized fishpond.Graham Cook said he believed either mink or an otter were to blame for killing all his fish.
KILLER mink may have struck a second time in Felixstowe - completely wrecking another gardener's prized fishpond.
Graham Cook said he believed either mink or an otter were to blame for killing all his fish.
He lives about a mile from Martin Downes, of Old Felixstowe, who lost 350 fish in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, one of the leaders of a group which hunts mink each year in summer said she had no doubt that mink were behind the killings.
Mr Cook, of Marcus Road, said: “I lost all my fish about five weeks ago to either mink or an otter.
“About 50 fish went in all, some over 20 years old and weighing six pounds-plus.
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“All of them were eaten over a five night period. People with expensive Koi must take all steps possible to protect their ponds.”
Mr Downes had collected his fish over 14 years - many of them Christmas and birthday presents from his family- and he has been left heartbroken by the daily carnage.
One morning the family found 40 koi and golden orfe littered around the edge of the pond at their home in Ferry Road, all dead and mutilated, with chunks bitten out of them.
So far the mystery killer has caused £2,500 worth of damage and virtually killed off the pond's fish stock, but attempts to trap or deter the animal have so far failed.
Julia Porter, of the Eastern Counties Mink Hound Pack, said: “These attacks sound exactly like a mink.
“They quite often kill a lot at a time, though with this many it sounds like more than one mink involved.
“They are horrible creatures. It's not just fish they attack - they will eat anything, including ducks and moorhens.”
Mink leave few signs behind but experts could tell from their footprints and droppings.
The hunting pack hunts mink in summer using hounds where landowners invite them in as pest control. They are allowed to shoot the mink if they hide up trees or in ground holes.
American mink - which look much like ferrets - were originally brought to the UK for fur farming in the 1920s, with a peak of around 700 mink farms by the 1960s, but as the industry declined many were released into the wild.
Experts estimates the mink population in Britain could be as high as 110,000 animals.
Have you had problems with mink attacking fish - what's the solution? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Mink and Otters
Mink are slightly smaller than a domestic cat - an otter is very much larger, probably nearer to a medium-sized dog.
Otters have a stout tapering tail, while mink have a more cylindrical and bushy tail.
Mink are usually dark brown with a while chin patch, while an otter's coat is mid-brown, with a paler throat and chest.
Mink often leaves footprints and droppings. Otters footprints can sometimes be found but are much larger.