BERLIN - Twenty German soldiers were deployed on Friday to help recapture around 17,000 minks on the run.
The animals had been let out from a mink farm into the eastern German countryside by unknown perpetrators, according to police in Stendal, 90km west of Berlin.
Local officials and mink farm employees also spent the day trying to trap the animals at large.
"So many minks escaped, I have no idea how many they'll catch," police spokesman Joachim Albrecht said.
Authorities suspect the minks - small mammals whose fur is used for making expensive coats and accessories - had been let out by animal rights activists, he said.