Ladysmith resident Chris Walling was snorkelling with a video camera in a Cowichan Valley creek on July 6 when he came upon a mother and juvenile mink. Chris Walling photo

VIDEO: Momma mink loses patience with its youngster in Cowichan Valley creek

Snorkeller captures family drama on camera

Not all fascinating wildlife encounters involve large mammals – grizzly bears, wolves and whales.

Ladysmith resident Chris Walling had an up-close and personal encounter with a momma mink and her adorable youngster in a Cowichan Valley creek on Saturday.

Walling was snorkelling in the creek when he came upon the mother and two siblings and captured their actions on video. The mother and one youngster were in the creek and expecting a sibling sitting on a rock onshore to join them, but it appeared reluctant to get into the water.

It took a little convincing from the momma to get the little one into the water, Walling said. She had to grab it by the scruff of its neck and then plunged into the water, swimming along the rock with her offspring firmly clamped in her mouth. She then hauled the youngster out of the water and ran with it still in her jaws up a rock and into the creekside forest.

“The juvenile had proceeded as far as it could without getting wet and was reluctant to swim to mom and sibling,” Walling said. “After repeated instruction, mom mink lost patience and drags the little one into the water. This was just a small segment of the encounter. They paid me no heed.”

Care has to be exercised when encountering wild animals, especially mustelids like mink and otters, Walling said.

“In this case I was using a four-foot extension (on the camera) and never got between the sow and the cub. I didn’t impede movement in any way and made no attempt to chase,” Walling said.

Mink are small, amphibious weasels that are common in B.C. along the seashore and along streams. They feed on fish and invertebrates, small mammals and amphibians.

For more on his Vancouver Island snorkelling adventures, visit Walling’s Instagram account: @steel_snorkel or on YouTube: Steel Snorkel.

Some mink folklore:

Whaling in the Campbell River region

Suburban Wild: Muskrat and Mink, Inc.


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Gogo Band rings in the new year with high-energy show

Osborne Bay Pub favourites return to provide the party atmosphere

Steeples three-unit expansion nearing completion

Project will add more much-needed independent housing

Strike taking a toll on families of WFP workers with Christmas approaching

Donations being sought at the union hall in Duncan to provide assistance

Heartfelt donation

Warmth spread for the holiday season through Toys, Toiletries and Toques campaign

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read