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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rebates increase for Cowichan residents replacing old woodstoves

Extra incentive provided to make the switch to heat pumps

LNG not the bad guy in caribou decimation

The Greens seem prepared to bankrupt Canada in their quest for instant results

Students cash in on awards for Legion Literary and Poster Contest

Chemainus branch rewards exceptional artistic work and writing

Snowy scenes

The white stuff makes a dramatic appearance

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Most Read