KODIAK — Sightings of mink are increasing around Kodiak, Alaska wildlife biologists said of the animal — a species not native to the area.
The first sighting was several years ago, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist John Crye said the sightings began after he got a call from an individual who was interested in raising and farming the animals.
The mink sightings started a year later, Crye said at a recent meeting of the Kodiak Fish and Game Advisory Committee.
"So, I think that's where they came from," Crye said. "They might be here to stay. There's quite a few."
Nathan Svoboda, another Fish and Game wildlife biologist, said the mink farm idea was rejected.
Svoboda said the agency is increasingly getting reports of mink in the area.
"We are getting more sightings every year. We're also getting more trappers bringing them in every year," he said.
Fish and Game officials say most of the sightings have been around the city of Kodiak, particularly in nearby St. Herman Harbor, which is located on Near Island.
But that doesn't mean the animals aren't elsewhere, too, according to Svoboda.
Invasive species can be detrimental to Kodiak Island’s ecosystem and could even replace native species, he said.