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Living Alongside our Wild Neighbour

At AIWC, we are seeing a large increase in the number of baby skunks (kits) being admitted to our centre, and the numbers are worrisome. The cause for the increase? The main reason is that the mothers are being trapped by property owners and removed from the area. Not only is this terrifying for her, but as a result her babies become orphaned. Currently we have 30 skunk kits in care, the majority of them admitted after their mother was trapped.

Skunk kits rely on their mother for food and care for the first few months of their life. Since skunks are mainly nocturnal, if you see skunk kits out during the day without their mother nearby, it’s a good indication something is wrong. Please monitor them and call our Wildlife Hotline 403-946-2361 for advice.

There is no reason to worry if there are skunks living in your area or on your property, as they generally keep to themselves.  Many people are completely unaware that they have skunks in their area. If you do get too close to a skunk they will give you warning signs before resorting to spraying:

  • Stamping their feet
  • Hissing
  • Raising their tail
  • Charging toward you

Since it can take up to ten days for skunks to replenish their scent, they will only spray as a last resort.

Removing skunks from their territory will only make room for more skunks to move in.  Be proactive if you would rather not share your space!  Here are a few simple tips to consider to help prevent skunks from moving onto your property:

  • Keep all dog and cat food, birdseed etc. indoors – especially at night.
  • Use heavy plastic or metal garbage/recycle bins with securely fastened lids to prevent odors from escaping.
  • Keep BBQ grills clean and/ or stored inside.
  • Keep the area well lit.  Motion detectors work best.

Learning how to cohabitate peacefully with local skunks can be accomplished!  For more information on how to get along with skunks give us a call. Don’t forget to pass this information along to your friends and neighbours.

Want to learn more about skunks? Read more on our website here.

It all comes down to this:

“We don’t own the earth. We are the earth’s caretakers. We take care of it and all the things on it. And when we’re done with it, it should be left better than we found it.” ― Katherine Hannigan, author.

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