EDEN VALLEY -- A national organization is stepping in to help a Stearns County farm after vandals released nearly 40,000 mink into the wild earlier this week.

The Lang Farm reported sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:30 a.m. Monday a person or group of people burglarized the Eden Lake farm, releasing mink from their cages and damaging sections of fencing around the farm. The total loss is over $750,000.

Michael Whelan is the Executive Director of Fur Commission USA. He says since the incident, Fur Commission USA has been working with other area ranchers to rescue the mink.

"Mink ranchers have experience with these animals because these animals can be dangerous, they know how to capture them safely without injuring the animals. They also know once the animals are returned to their pens, they have to be separated out because if the wrong animal is put in a pen with another animal, they will fight to the death."

Whelan says anyone who thinks they were helping these animals, needs to do their research.

"They should have done their homework because these mink being released in the wild, 99 percent of them are going to die from exposure or dehydration within 48 hours."

Whelan says even if you are a person who is against buying or wearing products made with fur, it doesn't give you the right to take away someone's source of income.

"I don't like brussels sprouts but that doesn't give me the right to go to the brussels sprouts farm next door and dig them all up. If you don't like fur don't buy it but you don't ruin peoples lives and their livelihood."

The Fur Commission USA is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone that can provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the attack.

The Lang family has been raising mink since 1936.

More From AM 1240 WJON