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

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read