STONINGTON — Residents and business owners in the borough have battled with the sudden presence of rats and skunks in past years, but police are now warning about a new pest at Stonington Point: minks.

The Stonington Police Department on Wednesday issued a warning using the department’s community notification system alerting residents of “aggressive minks,” including reports of one person being chased near Stonington Point on Wednesday. In the recorded phone message, Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson warned residents to stay away from the animals if seen.

The town’s animal control officer has notified the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, officials said. The agency is investigating, local officials said, and will determine a best course of action if one is needed.

The American mink, which is native to the Northeast and much of both the U.S. and Canada, is a semiaquatic carnivore that feeds on rodents, fish, crustaceans, frogs and birds. It is a member of the mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, badgers, otters and ferrets. Stonington was also once home to a mink farm, which has since closed.

Olson told residents in the phone message that although minks may resemble a ferret, which is a common pet, they are not friendly and should be considered territorial animals who can become aggressive.

— Jason Vallee

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