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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:13 PM

get ready for cutness overload....

This little guy has been taking refuge in my back yard for the last couple of days, but it hasn't gone well for him because the dogs have harried him endlessly. He sprayed them at least twice, and managed to get under a shed for the last couple of days, but I presume hunger, thirst, and exhaustion finally drove him out. By the time I took these pics he was utterly exhausted-- at first I was afraid the dogs had injured him because he could not walk, despite clearly wanting to get away from the dogs. He squirted a little bit just before these pics were taken, and I suspect it was all he had left.

He is now at the north coast wildlife rehab center in Arcata, CA. I'll likely get him back once he's checked out, stronger, and healthy-- California law evidently requires that rehabbed animals be released where they were rescued-- not an ideal solution for this guy since the skunk habitat in my small norcal town is pretty saturated, especially this time of year when the young of the year are dispersing from their natal territories, looking for easy pickings among the backyards and trash cans.




Trying to look badass:




Not succeeding. He was literally struggling to walk at this point.




Repurposed laundry basket:




Rehydrating (syringe not visible because I was holding the camera, but he took nearly 50 ml of diluted cream, holding on to the syringe like a bottle).




Skunk kittens are so fine!

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Reply get ready for cutness overload.... (Original post)
mike_c Aug 2012 OP
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #1
mike_c Aug 2012 #3
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #4
hlthe2b Aug 2012 #2
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #5
yellowcanine Aug 2012 #6
mike_c Aug 2012 #9
Warpy Aug 2012 #10
Bertha Venation Aug 2012 #7
turtlerescue1 Aug 2012 #8

Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:35 PM

1. THEY GET BIGGER! As long as it doesn't thump at you, you're probably fine.

 

When a skunk thumps - RUN LIKE HELL!!!!

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:43 PM

3. lol-- yeah, they're pretty common here....

I used to have skunks denning under the house every year, and they'd wander in and out of the cat door freely. Never had any problem with them, although of course I worried about rabies a bit and didn't get too close to the adults. I moved the cat door to a window eventually, mostly because I worried about rabies. But skunks are generally well behaved house guests (other than the ONE TIME that two of them got into a dispute in my living room one night-- my clothes smelled like burnt rubber for weeks afterward, even though they were in a closet in another room). Late July evenings the mother skunks would bring their nearly weaned babies out to run on the lawn, which is truly entertaining and beguiling.

All that ended when the GF brought her dogs. But they also keep the raccoons at bay, which more than makes up for the loss of skunks. I've never really minded sharing the house with skunks, but raccoons are evil little bastards.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:49 PM

4. Skunks and coons only come around on Thursday mornings here - trash day.

 

Otherwise they hide somewhere. I'm not sure where that is, but they know. Then there are the scavengers, who ALSO only come around on Thursday to collect scrap metal from trash piles and cash it it. I've done that too. I've had good days and bad days, but I get more back than I put into it and at least the metal isn't sent to the incinerator or a landfill. I don't even put my own aluminum and steel cans out for recycling. I take them over and get some cash.



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Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:36 PM

2. Please be cautious... Skunk rabies is on the rise and can be transmitted from mother to young...

There was a documented incident several decades ago where skunk kits in a pet store (descented) were found to have developed and potentially transmitted rabies. As I recall, the mother died and CDC worked with local health officials to track down the kits, but at least one was confirmed infected.

'Glad to see you are wearing gloves. And, while I love working with wildlife and their orphaned young--it is extremely important to be cautious... ditto with raccoon young.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:50 PM

5. Yeah, there's that too.

 

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:52 PM

6. I would echo that. "Struggling to walk" is not a good sign but the fact that he

took fluids is a good sign because one of the early signs of rabies is difficulty swallowing. Still, it is good to be extremely careful around foxes, raccoons, or skunks who seem to be ill. We have had both rabid raccoons and foxes in our area. A little fox in our neighbor's yard literally could not stand up.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:58 PM

9. He was exhausted by the dogs and dehydrated....

The dogs didn't try to hurt him, thankfully, but they chased him relentlessly around the yard for days, whenever he ventured out from under the shed. He was fine a couple hours later after taking some fluids, eating some fruit and moistened dog kibble, and having some time out in a darkened kitty crate. And I'm no fool, I handled him with leather gloves until it was clear that he was reasonably healthy and not aggressive.

Skunks-- at least healthy ones-- are pretty docile and easy to interact with. I've sat beside adult skunks in my kitchen, literally only inches away (and individuals I was familiar with)-- if you approach calmly and slowly, they don't usually get alarmed, and when they do, they always give lots of warning. In all the years before the dogs arrived, the only discharges I ever had were from interactions between skunks and racoons or among skunks themselves, and that only happened twice in nearly ten years.

Oddly, the skunks and cats always got along famously, often eating from the same bowl of kibble simultaneously. These are town skunks, of course, not domesticated but nonetheless accustomed to the presence of pets and people-- generally they lived under the house or one of the backyard sheds. This one would have certainly moved in under the house if the dogs were not here-- he's looking for secure foraging territory.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:52 PM

10. My cats also got along fine with skunks

and I'd often find them out sleeping together on the deck or under a car. The cats never got sprayed. I wasn't dumb enough to install a cat door, I knew some of the kitties enjoying the kibble would be black with white stripes down their backs.

I've never been sprayed, either. When I've surprised a skunk in the yard, I've just talked quietly to it and backed away. The skunk would just look at me for a couple of minutes, then waddle away as it went back to its own business.

Skunks also make decent pets, although they do tend to nibble toes when their owners wear sandals in summer. They don't like to be held, not by strangers, but they appreciate back pets.

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Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:24 PM

7. You rock!

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Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:34 PM

8. So tiny.

I nominate you Good Human of Today.

***BUT we have had at least nine confirmed cases of rabies in skunks this year.
BE CAREFUL.-NorthCentralArkansas.

Thankyou for caring mike_c

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