Hello, today wie visit Moenchengladbach Zoo. In our installation, we house a male European mink today. Males live in this installation through winter and after that the association Euronerz takes them back to give is a pregnant female. The breeding of these animals is coordinated by an EEP and accordingt to this, the males leave us usually in mid/end april and we house a pregnant female that will give birth to her offspring in our care and raises them till late summer, when the offspring is ready and she will leave us to mate with a male in the breeding station of Euronerz. Her offspring will stay here till late autumn and then the associations takes some of them for breeding but most of them will be introduced into the wild to live in nature. At the same time, they leave us, a male arrives here and spends the whole winter with us. So, most of the animals that were born at our zoo are introduced into the wild here in Germany to save this species in the wild. So, we are part of preventing the extinction of these magnificent animals in Germany and support a project that shall establish a population of this species in Germany long-term to save this species and preserve nature. The European mink was extinct in Germany – but now you can find animals of this species in the wild thanks to the reinroduction project and the offspring born in our care. In Europe, there were only a few populations left and the main threat for the species is habitat destruction: you can hardly find habitats with small to medium sized rivers with banks with pristine vegetation and enough food rescources like snails, worms, small fishes, insects or something like this. They are barely existing. Also, good water quality is important for that and also for the minks. All these factors caused the bad situation and the dangerous satus of the minks. In addition, there’s the North American mink. This species is bigger and very lucrative for fur farms – everybody know the coats, I think – and some animals fleed but also thousands were “freed” by so-called animal rights activists and they repressed the European mink and occupied the few habitats left in nature. They can survive here very well and that’s a problem for the native mink species. In the wild, you can hardly tell them apart. If I would see a mink in th wild, it was impossible for me to say if it was a European or American mink because they are so quick and look so similar to each other. At the zoo, you can do this easily because you have got the opportunity to observe them for a long time and then it’s pretty easy. The pout of a European mink is white above and below the mouth. There is white fur on the upper and lower jaw. So, the European mink looks af if its snout was dipped in milk. The American mink ist different. He only has got white below the mouth and is a little bit bigger than the European mink but without a comparing animal it’s not possible to see that quickly. Our breeding success is also caused by the design of our installation behind the scenes. We have got 4 different breeding boxes or caves for the female. Mink femals are most likely to transport her babies from one cave to another when she was disturbed in order to pretect them. When we clean the caves to offer best hygenic conditions, which increases the survival of the babies, she might be disturbed and would transport the babies to another cave. This is why we also leave two boexes open of which she can choose one and the other one is the cave she would transport her offspring to in case of a disturbance. Because we prepared the caves through cleaning before, she will always have two caves and so she’s able to choose the caves she likes at any time and would not transport the babies nonstop because she was stressed to not be able to find another cave and kill them by that. Here, we can prevent that. Write you questions in the comments, don’t forget to give this video a thumb up, and subscribe to our channel for free in order to never miss a new video.