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September 29, 2021

Minks are small semiaquatic mammals in the Mustelidae family. This genus includes ferrets, weasels, and otters. Minks come in American and European types, with American Minks leading to controversy in recent years.

A male mink living in the wild weighs about two and a quarter pounds and is around 24 inches long. Female Minks are considerably smaller. This size difference is significant considering the history of Mink hunting. This history includes species extinction, such as the New England sea mink, which disappeared in the late 1800s.

Minks live on birds, eggs, small rodents, and aquatic life such as fish. Mink litters are on average ten pups per pregnancy. Remarkably, Minks can delay gestation, meaning they get to control when their litters arrive, which does vary. The maximum lifespan in captivity is ten years. In the wild, Minks don’t live much beyond three.

People have hunted wild mink for their coats for centuries. A wild mink’s coat is silky brown because of natural oils in the fur. The luxurious feel of a Mink’s fur spurred the fur coat industry, where garments can cost thousands of dollars. Today, much of the Minks used in the fur industry come from Mink farms. Fur from farm-bred minks can be white or contain white spots.


  1. Thomas W Hall

    So how do I know how long a Mink can swim under water if you have not stated it in your article?

    • Thomas W Hall

      I have no idea how long a mink can swim under water, but would like to know. I await your answer. Thank You

  2. Patricia Gaglio

    So how long can they swim underwater?

  3. Joanne McDonough

    so… how far can they swim underwater????

  4. Charles Holburn

    I trapped muskrats for their fur when I was 14 and a few times I caught mink. I think the mink pelts got me five bucks whereas the muskrat pelts got me one to four dollars.

  5. Sepi

    I wonder if they’re friendly

  6. Plantlady49

    Minks are not friendly. They are vicious little animals with very sharp teeth. Very much a carnivore!

  7. Mark J

    While I understand there are those who can and do, I’m not so sure I could delete one of these from the face of the Earth for my personal entertainment.

    • Brenda Gast

      Thank God for people like you!

  8. Audrey Pratt

    They can swim underwater quite awhile. They are NOT friendly. We have enough man made materials to make garments, I don’t see any reason to destroy animals.

  9. Brenda Gast

    Can a mink be kept as a pet?

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