Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, August 21, 1998 Published at 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK


UK

'Fearless' mink attack fisherman

Mink are efficient predators with a vicious bite

A terrified angler beat off a pack of ravenous mink with his landing net after they attacked him while he was fishing on a river bank.

John Stone said at least four mink leapt out of bushes at the River Avon near Ringwood in Hampshire.

It is the first confirmed attack on a human by the hungry predators since about 6,000 of them were released by animal activists from a New Forest fur farm.

'I was screaming'

"It was beginning to get dark and suddenly I heard this high pitched squeaking sound, almost like a screech. It was horrible," said Mr Stone.

"Suddenly these dark shapes sprang out of the bushes nearby and jumped on me. They were all over me. There were at least four of them, if not more.

"They were running over my legs, my feet and trying to climb on my seat. It was terrifying - I was screaming.

Mr Stone said he picked up his landing net and tried unsuccessfully to beat them off.

"They were fearless. I battled with them for about a minute and then they backed off. I immediately packed up most of my stuff and ran."

Mr Stone, 37, of New Milton in Hampshire, said the mink were attracted by his favourite bait - tinned dog food.

He vowed never to fish at night again as did fellow angler Nick Redman who witnessed the attack on Tuesday night on a privately-owned stretch of the river and went to Mr Stone's aid.

Starving

"All of a sudden I heard this loud screeching and suddenly John shot out of his chair and started waving his net around.

"These mink had run out of the bushes and were all over him. You've never seen someone get out of his chair so fast.

"They must have been starving. I'm just glad they didn't bite me."

About 6,000 mink were released from a fur farm near Ringwood in two attacks by animal rights extremists over the last fortnight.

Thousands have been recaptured and many have been shot by local landowners although up to 1,500 are thought to be still at large.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Relevant Stories

18 Aug 98 | UK
Activists warn of more mink releases

16 Aug 98 | UK
More mink freed

11 Aug 98 | UK
Anti-fur campaigners slam mink release

09 Aug 98 | UK
Animal rights group claims responsibility for mink release

08 Aug 98 | UK
Mink terrorise Hampshire after farm release





Internet Links

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online