VAN WERT, Ohio — In the hours after as many as 40,000 minks were released from a Van Wert County farm Tuesday, many were either shot or killed by vehicles on local roads.
Officials said at least one unknown suspect freed the minks from their cages at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm overnight, sending between 25,000 and 40,000 minks into the surrounding countryside.
Dozens of local residents came out to hunt the animals Tuesday. One of them, Steve Replogle, said he was shooting loose minks as a public service.
"A danger to society, nuisance" he said of the minks set loose from the farm.
The animals, which are highly destructive carnivores that can pose a danger to chickens and other animals, had already attacked his friend's chicken farm Tuesday afternoon, Replogle said.
Still more loose minks were killed along U.S. 127 where they ran after being released from the nearby farm. So many minks were dead on the road that the Van Wert County Sheriff's Office called in a snow plow to remove their bodies.
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