News Release

11/15/2023

Update: 3:30pm

Van Wert County Sheriff provided an update to the incident that occurred at Lion Farms. Sheriff Riggenbach said it is estimated that 10,000 minks are unaccounted for at this time. The original estimate of released mink was provided by the property manager due to the number of minks let loose from their cages. The property owner has advised the Sheriff’s Office that many minks remained on the property and were corralled by employees working at the farm.

These minks are considered domesticated animals/livestock. Domesticated mink generally will not survive in the wild because they lack natural survival skills. There is a difference between domesticated animals and wild animals. Sheriff Riggenbach advises people not to approach loose mink because they might bite. If mink is spotted, call Lion Farms or a nuisance trapper so the animals can be recaptured by experienced handlers.

Sheriff Riggenbach also said property owners who have mink come onto their property have the right to protect their property such as animals and pets. Individuals are reminded that discharging a firearm in municipal areas can be in violation of law.

The Sheriff’s Office has received a large volume of calls regarding trapping and shooting. Property owners meeting the hunting license exemption may hunt or trap a fur-bearing animal on his or her own lands without a fur taker permit. Individuals with questions about trapping or hunting mink need to contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resource in Findlay at 1-800-945-3543.

Sheriff Riggenbach said the investigation is ongoing at this time. Sheriff Riggenbach would also like to thank all agencies and citizens that have assisted in this incident.