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06.09.14 Bloodbath under Cliffe Bridge

07 September 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized

It's turning into a real bloodbath under Cliffe Bridge. Last week Jon Tooley's great photos showed us a cormorant helping himself to a migrating eel and then we had reports that the common seal was patrolling the river south of the bridge. But now there's another killer on the loose. We received this eyewitness report from John Downie:

"It was fairly low tide at about 8am and I noticed a mink (the first I've seen in Lewes, despite having lived here for 36 years). It had worked its way along the sloping part of the river containment wall, apparently trying to keep its feet dry when it suddenly slipped into and beneath the river's surface. There was obviously quite a bit of below water action as I watched the ripples spreading. It then emerged from the river with a still lively eel which was wrapping itself around the animal. However the mink's jaws were clamped firmly around the eel's neck and it soon succumbed as it was expertly manoevered to the grassy area below the car park where they disappeared from sight. I enclose a rather long distance smartphone snap taken from the Cliffe bridge.

Mink Crop

Mink and eel below Cliffe Bridge / John Downie.

It appears John's mink is almost an albino. Mink were brought into Sussex and bred on fur farms. Many escaped (or were liberated) and they have had a dramatic effect on our native British wildlife. this mink has certainly had a big effect on this eel's plans of getting to the Sargasso.

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