As the look on his face tells you, this is one guy you probably don't want to play with.

They don't live in the water, but they spend most of their time there. Partly-webbed feet let them dive their 2-foot-long body (one-third of which is their furry, round tail) down as much as 16 feet. When they're content, they might purr. However, you wouldn't want to cuddle with this creature. And they definitely won't mix with the pets you have at home. Have you figured out what it is?

Is it a weasel? No, but they are a member of the family that includes them, as well as badgers, ferrets, fishers, martens, wolverines, and an animal they're often mistaken for... otters. In total, there are 65 species in the mustelids family that includes all of the above as well as the mink.


Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

I mentioned they can purr when happy, but you're not likely to hear a mink do that. When they feel they're in danger, mink will growl, they'll hiss, screech, and might even let go of a "strong, musky scent from their anal glands."

Even though they're usually no bigger than a house cat, you don't want to take a mink in as a pet. They will bite, scratch, and claw and also attack everything from cats to dogs, rabbits, and fish. According to Krebs Creek, they "can easily bite so deep it goes to the bone."

You're most likely to see a mink around a lake, pond, or river. If you do spot one, just watch. They're best enjoyed at a distance and who knows what you might see.

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