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State Wants Your Help Spotting Mink, Before They Become Coats

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(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) A Florida mink

(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) A Florida mink

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Most of us know where to look for a mink, and we’d start in a high-end department store. But the State of Florida wants us to be on the lookout for the little critters before they become coats, and they need you to help spot them.

They’re not really buzz-worthy in a state better known for gamefish, alligators, and the Florida Panther, but the little mink does live in the wild, and where there’s grant money available from the government, there are researchers who can find a way to use it.

The researchers who want your help are looking for mink to study, and seem to be having a hard time finding them.

They’re little, they like to hide, and they look a lot like other more common animals, including otter. They also scoot through water like a furry jetski.

Finding critters to study is extremely challenging to biologists.

“If members of the public report their sightings of these elusive animals, it would be invaluable to our research,” said Jesse Boulerice, FWC biologist in Lake City. “The more people we have looking for mink, the more information we can gather.”

So who does the state want? Fisherman, boaters and other people who enjoy lakes, streams, and the Everglades can help. The state even has invested in a mink website to help fill people in about what to look for. https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/getlatlong.aspx.

One thing to remember: like most of us, Mink like meat. Fish, frogs, crayfish, crabs and even muskrat and other small mammals are on the menu, but just because you’re a big mammal doesn’t mean a mink wouldn’t take a chunk out of you. Look, but don’t touch, and rat ‘em out to the state.

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