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Animal stares down couple over half-eaten rabbit, can be spotted locally along Johnson Creek

COURTESY PHOTO: CAROL ZYVATKAUSKAS - A mink stared down a Gresham couple when it thought they were after its rabbit.  Who among us wouldn't give a bit of a snarl if we thought someone was going to snatch away our dinner?

That is what a Gresham couple faced as they spotted an American mink in their backyard last week during the summer heatwave. The furry neighbor stared down the residents, one of whom was wildlife photographer Carol Zyvatkauskas, who snapped a quick picture before the mink fled.

About 40 minutes later it returned to finish its meal — a half-eaten rabbit it had left behind some old fencing material. That is why it put on such an intimidating front; the mink was worried it would lose dinner.

The American mink are semiaquatic species that live throughout the country, and can be spotted locally along Johnson Creek. Carnivorous, they eat rodents, fish, crustaceans, frogs and birds.

Mink are larger than their cousins, stoats and weasels, with bushy tails and a long body they use to enter burrows of prey. That streamlined shape also reduces water resistance when swimming. On average, American mink will reach about 15-18 inches in length.

COURTESY PHOTO: ODFW - American mink are thriving in Oregon and can be spotted locally along Johnson Creek.

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