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Do you know what stinks?
We’ll tell you what stinks, having your mother kidnapped and taken away to the mysterious “wild”! Where is this wild place everyone thinks skunks (and coyotes, opossums, raccoons, etc) should live? The idealistic open spaces of clear running streams and tall untouched trees are not the preferred home of our smelly friends.
A city skunk cannot survive in the rural outback. She doesn’t know how to hunt or locate fast moving prey. Instead she forages amongst the trash bins and tracks down easy to catch insects and rodents under your house. She knows how to evade a barking dog but not a rattlesnake or great horned owl.
Skunks like urban living. They thrive in the urban setting and trapping one to take her “back to the wild” is only assuring that she will struggle to survive. She knows not where to find food or water. Other animals have already claimed all the good hiding spots. And where are her babies? She is going to exhaust all of her energy searching for her babies!
What babies you ask? The babies that were in the den under your house that you didn’t know about before you kidnapped their mom. The young that are now cold and scared. They start to peep and squeal as their tummies get tight from hunger. They wander out from the save secure den into your front yard, onto your patio where the family dog thinks you have offered them a new squeaky toy.
These two young skunks were found three days after their mother was trapped and taken away to the wild. The owner of the home who had hired the trapper initially had a soft spot for the babies. She contacted the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center to help them, and we will. But mother skunk would have been better at raising them.
If only they had called us first! We could have told them how to ask the mamma to move her babies and leave these nice people alone. They didn’t want to hurt the skunk, after all they humanely trapped her and thought they were doing the right thing by driving her far away from people. A little Humane Exclusion techniques would have kept the whole family together and the skunks would have found a better place to take up residence.
Instead we have two orphans and a missing mother who will never know that her babies are okay.
GreaterGood.org supports Fund For Animals Wildlife Centers through contributions from The Animal Rescue Site and the Gifts That Give More [tm] program.
The Wildlife Center in Ramona, CA, receives approximately fifty skunks a year, most with a similar story. This time of year, Ali Crumpacker also sees a high number of young bobcats coming into her Center. To learn more, click here.
Skunk photo courtesy of Ali Crumpacker and Fund For Animals.