Wild Profile: meet the mink

Published: February 5, 2019

By Wildlife World/Shutterstock

Mink? They stink. Literally—they have anal glands that, when the animal is threatened, produce a foul-smelling liquid defence almost as reeky as a skunk’s. Gah! But don’t worry: mink can’t aim, or even spray very well.

When they’re not in the water, these glossy-furred, semi-aquatic carnivores spend their winters in rock piles, hollow logs, or abandoned beaver or muskrat lodges that they’ve repurposed into their own dens. Thanks to partially-webbed feet and an oily, waterproof coat, they’re suited to life in streams and lakes. Mink are strong swimmers. They can dive as deep as six metres, swim as far as 30 metres, and stay underwater for several minutes at a time.

Mink keep to themselves until mating season starts at the end of February. Then they use that powerful, musky stench to attract mates. Yup, love is in the air! And it’s potent.

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