Photo by @joelsartore |
This adorable 12-week-old mink kit was found with its siblings when they were just a week old on a cold, rainy night in March when the den their mother had made in a piece of unused construction equipment was destroyed. An attempt to reunite the babies with their mother failed, so they were rescued by Nebraska Wildlife Rehab. When they first came into care, their eyes were closed, they weighed just a few ounces, and had very little hair. They had to be fed a specialized formula every two hours until they were stable, and then six times a day until they were weaned onto solid food. They are mischievous animals, which makes them a unique challenge to rehabilitate. They are fast and love to climb and swim and require extremely specialized housing with a variety of habitats that includes pools and dens. They also must eat on a very regular schedule -- minks, like all weasels, have a high metabolism and aren't able to skip meals like other mammals. At Nebraska Wildlife Rehab this species makes up a small part of the over 6,000 animals they care for each year, but their unique and challenging personalities always make them a staff and volunteer favorite! American mink are a common animal near bodies of water throughout North America. Being semi-aquatic carnivores, they prey on fish, small rodents, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Although this species has a stable population, its cousin (and the only other mink species in the world), the European mink, is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. @newildliferehab To see a photo of the other kits in the litter follow @JoelSartore.