Last week a predator wiped out nearly all the fish in our pond. One very large grass carp survived but had been so badly beaten up we had him put down. The local fish centre reckoned he had been held down and chewed and thought it might be an otter. We live several miles from the river and a reservoir so I dismissed this.
Last night I was woken up by the garden gate vibrating, sounded like something struggled to squeeze through the iron gate.
Now have following pictures from security camera. It looks like an otter to me, what do you think ?
It does seem a bit far away from a decent water source to be an otter so a mink makes more sense:
Fish pond predators UK
Mink – the American Mink is often mistaken for an Otto but are much smaller with fluffier tails and pointed snouts. They are not native to the UK and were bought across from America for the fur-farming industry in the 1920’s. The mink population reached peak numbers in the 1950’s with a record number of farms totalling around 400. By the end of 1967, wild mink were reported in more than 50% of our counties as a result of them escaping or being set free by protestors to the fur industry.As yet there is no strategy for managing the UK wild mink populations. This sweet looking creature is an indiscriminate killer of fish, birds and small mammals. They have no natural predators so the population numbers are thriving which is not good news for fish pond keepers that are neighbours to the country-side. Mink are nocturnal and move very swiftly so it is difficult to locate their presence. They are also good little swimmers and are strong enough to take fish bigger than they are. The little rascals will get under pond netting and are undeterred by steep edged pond designs.