Last week, I received a call from a lady in the community who was concerned about the welfare of a skunk who’d been making nightly appearances in her backyard. The poor thing had a plastic lid stuck around her neck. Anytime you’re dealing with a skunk challenge, you’re actually dealing with two challenges:
1) Helping the skunk in question.
2) Avoiding getting sprayed while helping the skunk in question.
I was extremely nervous, as this was my first skunk rescue, as a single tiny error could find me taking vinegar and baking soda baths for days. I hoped the Google Gods weren’t lying when they said skunks are hard of hearing.
It was three nights before the right opportunity presented itself. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t entertained in the meantime!
Night 1: Our skunk was showing off that she owned the backyard. She even invited friends over for a dinner party— FIVE other skunks! An opossum showed up, and like any uninvited dinner guest, was quickly shown the door. As eager as I was, I didn’t like the Vegas odds of me against six skunks.
Night 2: Our skunk stood us up, imagine the nerve! No matter though, the lady and I had a lovely evening featuring coffee and cookies.
Night 3: Operation: Perfume-Free Skunk Rescue is a go! There she was, gorging on some super worms I’d laid out for her in the yard like a buffet fit for skunk royalty.
Try as I might to skulk out the patio door and into the yard, the moment the door opened, Ms. Skunk stopped munching and looked right at me. Darn you, Googles Gods!
While very small, and very cute, her stare conveyed a message I can only describe as: “Game on, lady!” I took a step towards her, she darted. Net in hand, I managed to trap her, and as I was dropping down the tarp meant to protect me from her delightful perfume, I felt the pressure of her spray. Had it not been for the tarp, I would have drunk a mouthful of skunk spray!
I was able to get the lid off her neck, and she trotted off into the night, as though nothing happened. Not saying I expected a thank you, but still.
Apparently, she even came back later to finish the worms.
Cut the lid (pictured) then recycle.
These lids are devastating for wildlife. While it may just be an Ice Cappucino or McFreezie to you, to the animal who encounters it, it can be a death sentence. As these animals grow, the lid doesn’t expand, and eventually, it cuts right into their skin. This tragedy can be entirely avoided just by cutting the lid in half after use. One scissor snip could save a life!
(And it’ll save folks like me from unsolicited getting perfume sprays!)
Cool Skunk Facts:
- Skunks can spray a distance of 10-15 feet.
- Skunks eat honey bees and will often attack the hive.
- During mating season, male skunks can have more than one mate.
- Skunk spray is highly flammable.
- Skunks are hard of hearing. Allegedly. I challenge that one, LOL