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American mink (Neovison vison) are small carnivores that live close to water, where they feed on small aquatic animals. They originally came from North America, but were brought to Europe and Asia to be farmed for their fine fur. They have since escaped into the wild and are now a common pest. They are also competition for the similar, but very rare, European mink.

Mink prefer to live in areas with plenty of cover. Their river-bed dens are generally deserted burrows made by other river mammals, but mink will dig their own when necessary.

Mink are active at night and dive into water to snatch their prey. They live alone and will defend their own stretches of riverbank against intruders. A litter of up to five young is born two months after mating inside dry, underground nests lined with fur, feathers and leaves. In autumn the young begin to fend for themselves.

ARKive photos and videos of the American mink