Several years ago when Terry and I (Tami), owners of Wawang Lake Resort, were out fishing we trolled our boat into one of the lakes’ many bays, a splash resounded in the bay that caught our attention. Curious Terry headed over towards the ripples left from the splash to have a look.
Soon a head popped up out of the water between the boat and shoreline – it was an adult mink and suddenly a couple more smaller heads bobbed up right after – her babies. We soon realized mom was teaching her young to swim and forage for food. So cute!
Looking over towards the shore we noticed a couple more drenched baby mink patiently waiting for mom to return. That was four kits in all. Meanwhile, one of the kits had drifted away from mom coming closer to our boat and now struggled to crawl up the shaft. of the motor. Terry reached over and grabbed the little mink by the scruff of the neck and pulled it into the boat. Now sitting on the boat seat the little one, looking like a drowned rat, sneezed, coughed and hiccuped and looked very dazed.
Suddenly mom was alarmed when she noticed one of her young was missing. Sensing danger she swiftly grabbed the one near her by the neck, dove under the water and soon came up at the shoreline 20′ away where her other babies were obediently waiting. Quickly, she turned and stood on her haunches as she scanned the waters surface for the lost kit – but he was nowhere to be seen
She dove back into the water and swam back to the training area. She swam in panic, swam in circles, dove under anxiously looking for the kit. Her head bobbed out of the water over and over, several times. Seeing that she had become quite concerned for her missing baby Terry picked up the nervous kit sitting with us and put him back in the water, and shoved him off towards his mom. Mom now seeing her baby swam over, grabbed him by the neck angrily and gave him a few good shakes in reprimand before driving under the water with him away from danger and back to the rest of her family and safety. With one last head count she then leaped into the dense woods, her babies following close behind and not one of them looked back even once.
Once we were done fishing Terry threw the remaining minnows onto shore where the mink family had been. I knew he was thinking that they might come back.
As it turned out it was a wonderful day. The weather was great, the fishing even better and we now looked forward to a freshly caught fish supper. Best yet though was our wildlife encounter and a glimpse into the lives of one of our neighbors – the mink family. As I put my jacket on and got myself comfortable in the seat for the ride back to the lodge I wondered if the mink family would come back to that spot and be eating as good as we would that night. At least I hoped so.
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