Mink attacks rabbits in hutch at Bradwell

A woman trapped a wild mink in a rabbit hutch minutes after it had attacked her pet rabbits.

Sarah Walden, 30, from Parkland Drive, Bradwell, rose at dawn today to find one of the meat eating wild animals attacking the cage which houses her rabbits Michael and Cookie.

Luckily, the younger Cookie had been placed in with Michael for the night, otherwise Sarah believes it would have been killed as the mink had managed to get into the open cage where Cookie usually sleeps.

Sarah said: 'I looked out of the window to see something black attacking the rabbit hutch. At first I thought it was a cat, upon running down stairs and into the garden in my pyjamas to chase it away I noticed it had managed to open a thankfully empty, rabbit hutch and was inside.

'I quickly shut the door on it. It was very aggressive and didn't like being contained. I telephoned RSPCA, �1.50 a minute, I may add, and they said they would send someone out to collect it at some point, unfortunately it escaped.

'My daughter (Tobie, 6) and I watched it run round the garden and swim in our pond before it ran up a tree and into a neighbours garden.

'I always thought foxes were the risk as we have allotments nearby, this is unheard of, and concerning.'

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Sarah used a watering can to trap the mink inside. It was hours later that she noticed that Michael, who had been protecting Cookie, had suffered cuts near his eyes when the mink swiped at him through the bars.

Sarah, who owns turtles, cats, dogs and a bearded dragon lizard, among others, said: 'People need to be aware of the dangers their pets face when in the back garden.

'My daughter is quite animal savvy, so she would know what to do, but if any child approached one they would get a nasty bite.

'So rabbit owners please be sure that your hutch is secured or you could have a nasty surprise when you get up in the morning. Thankfully our baby rabbit is now living with our adult rabbit or we could have a devastated daughter today.'

A number of the minks in the UK are American minks that were let into the wild when fur farms closed.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust have a project to control and eventually eradicate this species, as they say they are a pest and a danger to our native species of bird and the watervole.

Stephen Mace is heading the project for the trust, he said: 'We really want to dispose of these creatures as humanely as possible, because they really are a pest.

'They will kill and eat anything, they are not too much of a danger to people but they will get at pets like rabbits and birds. Our main concern is protecting the British watervole from them.'

John Blackburn of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust added: 'They are not our favourite species to have around, they are predatory and not at all native.

'They were more in the southern end of the Norfolk Broads but appear to be moving through, they eat a lot of our native species.'

If you spot a mink, email macey79@tiscali.co.uk or johnb@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

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