Is That Skunk?
Tell Us Your Skunk Tales!

Everyone seems to have a skunk story. What’s yours?

Maybe you’ve been the victim of a direct hit from the dreaded spray. Or maybe you love skunks, and even keep one as a pet. We want to hear your skunk tales — positive or negative.

Use the comment form below to share your skunk tale.

Then, tune in when Is That Skunk? premieres Sunday, January 25 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings).

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  • Betty Atkins

    I grew up on a farm. My dad often brought home orphaned animal babies. One was a skunk. Mama allowed the skunk only because Daddy had ‘de-skunked’ it. Skunky was my pet for over a year, when one day a stray dog challenged our family dog. Skunky immediately got between them and sprayed the intruder in the face. Instead of removing his scent glands, Daddy had just neutered him!

  • M. Kelly

    When I was in the 5th grade, my dog was sprayed by a skunk. The next morning, on my way to the bus stop, I petted my dog for several minutes. As I was getting on the bus, one of my neighbors commented about a pungent skunk smell. I explained that my dog had been sprayed the night before, not realizing the smell was emanating from my clothes.

    When class started that morning, my teacher stopped her lesson, asking, “where is that smell coming from?” Terrified, I sunk in my seat, hoping that she was not talking about me. Eventually, after walking around the room sniffing, she singled me out. She sent me to the nurse, demanding that I come back with new clothes. I cried and became known as “skunk boy” for the rest of the year.

  • yael horowitz

    I was visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo early one summer when I observed a very small skunk sneak into the gorilla outdoor enclosure. It made it’s way through a gap in the fence and ambled over to the gorilla’s food dish. As the skunk ate the Silverback of the troup would come over and the skunk would duck back through the gap in the fence, knowing full well the gorilla could not get it. Over about 20 minutes I watched this little skunk eat it’s fill of the fruits, vegetables and gorilla chow sitting at ground level. What a clever little creature.

  • Pete Veilleux

    I have two skunk stories. Two years ago, I was driving in North Charlestown, NH around midnight and i slowed down to watch a HUGE WHITE skunk with a narrow black stripe down its back shuffle off the road and into the bushes on the side. I’m not sure whether it looked larger than normal because it was bright white in the headlights or whether it was a really fluffy and large skunk. The second story just happened two weeks ago near my home in Oakland, CA. I was driving on rural Redwood Rd and I drove around a sharp curve and surprised a young buck and a skunk having a tete-a-tete, or actually a nose-to-nose! They both immediately turned and bolted / shuffled off in opposite directions. They sure did look like they had been caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing! Very strange…

  • Cody Hildebrand ( Wild Brother Animal Behavior Study)

    Having worked with wild and Domestic skunks for thirty one years, I have many stories to tell. I will tell you one of my favorites. Years ago we were called to a all night grocery store. It seemed a wild skunk had entered the supermarket through the back doors where a semi truck had been unloading . A SKUNK in a supermarket! He may never come out! After much discussion, a plan was in order. I had suggested we lay a trail of miniture marshmellows from the skunks present position, up and around aisles and leading out into the night.The skunks first attempt was to bat and roll the tiny marshmellow, then he started to eat the small morsel. The marshmellow got stuck on the roof of the skunks mouth. Thier he lay, using his long nails to try and remove the marshmellow from the roof of his mouth. Finally it dislodged and was swallowed. He then began the quest to follow each and every marshmellow we had laid as a trail to guide him out of the supermarket. Would he take the bait? would he become too full of marshmellows just short of his destination? The plan worked, the skunk followed the marshmellow trail, up the aisles, and out the opened back door and into the night. We all gave a high five, and my husband and myself returned home. All was well, and the skunk in a supermarket episode was a covert operation. So we thought! Next day, while watching the noon news, we hear ( Skunk closes supermarket for four hours) We had a good laugh, and some more coffee.

  • Cynthia O’Brien-Walker

    I had not been going to get another skunk, when I received an email from a lady who had returned a male kit to the breeder in exchange for his sister. She couldn’t have both, but desperatly wanted him to get a home, and quickly. After some debate, I made arrangements to go and get him. As I went to pick him up he grunted and rrrrred and stomped. This is his way, to this day. You go to pick him up and he sounds like he is going to tear you apart. Once in your arms, he grabs two paws of shirt smacks his lips three times yawns and promptly goes to sleep. All bluster !!! His name is Badger. Cindy

  • Nancy Greene

    I got my 1st pet skunk about 30 years ago and at the time we lived on the 2nd floor of a 2 family house. Stanley used to hide behind the door and when someone came in he would bolt out of the door, down the steps and out the door. He was brought back a few times by the local police who used to use him to scare the drunks that they had picked up the night before. They put Stanley in the cell with them and when they woke up they would screem being terrified since there was a skunk in there with them!!! Very funny!! Anyway, I now have several pet skunks who I have all gotten from Skunkhaven Domestic Skunk Rescue and they are all wonderful!! So is Deb Cipriani & Kevin Wilson, who tirelessly run the shelter. I am one of her reps!

  • ACE

    I’ve been to SkunkHaven a few times and that was where I met my first skunk face-to-face — they are so cute!! I love the way they grunt and wiggle when they walk. Skunks are very precious citizens of Nature.

    Deb and Kevin of Skunk Haven and their reps (nationwide) and friends are extra-special people, who know alot about skunks and take great care of them.

    Skunks have awesome, unique personalities, and extra special attitude. I wish I lived in a Skunks-Allowed state so I could have one or two as pets!!

    I also wish more people would understand and respect skunks instead of fearing or hating them.

  • Jennifer Lance

    I am the Director of a non-profit organization entitled CRITTER TALES INC. We travel the State of Oklahoma with our wildlife education programs. We present at Schools, Scout Groups, Churches, Libraries, Special Events, and even private parties. Touching is a teaching tool…using live animals can help the public connect with nature in a more personal way. We have a skunk named Charlie. He was born in captivity, descented, vet checked, and approved for public use. There many “tall tales” regarding skunks and their lives. Caring for a skunk requires much work and knowledge of dietary needs. We do not encourage pet skunks. We inform the public to remain at a distance with wild skunks, and if need be they should contact an expert for skunk problems on thier personal peropety. We recommend “THE SKUNK WHISPERER.” He educates persons on humanely removing skunks and not inviting them to return.
    For more details on Critter Tales Inc. please visit our website at

  • Mary Cummins

    I’m a wild skunk rehabber in Los Angeles, California. I generally wear dirty, baggy sweats, my hair in a pony tail and no makeup when I’m working with the wild animals I care for. One day I had a date coming over so I put on a little dress, did my hair, makeup, jewelry and perfume. I thought I’d give the baby skunks a snack before my date came over. I had their cages at eye level. I approached the cage with their snacks but they didn’t recognize me all cleaned up so they sprayed me in the face, 15 minutes before my date was due. I instantly soaked my face in skunk-off and changed my dress. The doorbell rang and I went to greet my date. He said he could smell the skunks from the sidewalk. He came in and we had a lovely evening in spite of the face full of spray. Over 40, not in the best shape of my life, skunk spray on my face but I still got it! Skunk photos and videos

  • Linda Warren

    My oldest sister is now 68 and I still hear tales about the time she and my cousin tried to push “kitty” into a dog house. Kitty turned out to be a skunk and sis spent most of the day soaking in a tub of my mom’s home-canned tomatoes.

    My neighbor has a black cat which my son cornered in the garage, so he thought-it was a skunk that he swears didn’t have the typical black stripe. Same son later caught a skunk in a hav-a-hart trap which he successfully released. Some folks are just blessed, I guess.

  • Sherry DeMarchi

    I would like to commend Deb Cipriani of Skunk Haven ( Without her help, many domestic skunk owners would be up a creek without a paddle! She has dedicated her life and her home to domestic and wild skunks and their care. Anyone who is owned by a domestic skunk should refer to her web-site!

  • Deborah Cipriani (Skunk Haven Inc)

    As a child under 6 years old, my parents gave me a stuffed three foot skunk to love! In the 80’s I was camping in Colorado and I heard pitter patter of feet behind the tent. I came out to see a family of skunks. I sat on the picnic table talking to them. Rick and a few friends came back from playing games, to see me sitting there in amazement that I never got sprayed! January 2000 my mother died and I bought my first domestic skunk in June to fill the void. Daisy got dreadfully sick in Dec of 2000. It was then my vet and I realized there was hardly to none collective data about the medical aspects of skunks . This is what started our quest to help skunks in the future. Daisy was my teacher to help the skunks. If she was a healthy skunk none of this would have happen. Now living with 30 -70 skunks in our home at any given time I would be lost with out my skunk family.

    To date one of our goals is to set standards on skunks so vets can have more of a guide line on skunks. We also do educational programs on Skunk Awareness to teach the public on wild and domestic skunks. Rescues and Adoptions for domestics. Open the doors to helping wild orphan skunks for release as well. I want to say that all the representatives of Skunk Haven Inc are a great bunch of people and are there to help when ever they can.

    Since the year of 2000 we have met so many nice skunk people . Joined several skunk organizations. (they also help many skunks owners) Gone to Skunk Shows in Florida, and a Skunk Fest in Ohio. YES there are skunks shows!! (The public should go to one you will leave with a better understanding on skunks).

    I do want to say thank you to two ladies whom have passed on. Ginny and Jane who set the roots for the rest of us to grow on . They dedicated their lives to skunks and were two very special ladies.

    This filming is a step forward for the betterment of skunks and hoping they will be recognized for the special loving animals they are. Also to distinguish the difference between wild skunks which are born in the wild and our domestics which are bred and born in captivity for pets.
    Please join us in watching this program of PBS NATURE “IS THAT SKUNK?”

  • Max Pfeifer

    Early one morning as a kid while I prepared to head out on my paper route, a skunk came ambling by, blinded by a Nesquick can stuck on its head. I stayed quiet and just watched it keep walking down the street, banging the can as it zigzagged along. Thirty years later, I have often wondered if that skunk ever got the can off his head?

  • Renee Pearlstein

    I had gotten my first skunk nearly 8 years ago from a breeder. I thought I was educated enough on the care for her. She became very sick and I didn’t know what to do. I found Deb Cipriani of Skunk Haven’s phone number on a new skunk owner brochure. At 2am I called crying hysterically. She talked to me for hours without even knowing me and helped save my skunk. After that I went to my first Skunkfest (held in September in Ohio)and learned a lot more about skunks. Since then I have adopted quite a few skunks from Skunk Haven. (To me they are like chips, I can’t have just one!) I love them all dearly and each one has such a unique personality.

    I have become a rep for Skunk Haven and go out to teach people that skunks (both wild and domestic) are not as bad as people think. I love talking and teaching about them. They tend to be very misunderstood. A domestic skunk is not a pet for just anyone, they take a lot of care. Hopefully after watching this people will have a better understanding about them and not fear or hate them.

    I would like to say a special thanks to Deb and Kevin of Skunk Haven for all the skunks and people they have helped.

  • Dennis Ashworth

    As kids growing up in Oregon in the early 60’s, we all had animals that we adopted from the wild (and had permits to keep them from the state). My animal of choice was the skunk. We had several over the years, all allowed in the house except at night. They really bonded to people and were constant companions as soon as you came in the door after school. One of my guys would herd me to a favorite chair and pester me until I picked him up, at which time he would promptly climb up the chair, over me and up to the top of the chair to form a heated, fuzzy neck warmer. We never had bites or the least indication of aggressiveness. Pet skunks are not permitted in Washington state – a very sad situation indeed. I hope one day the rabies paranoid will pass and more people will enjoy this magnificent loving creature.

  • Landon McKay

    My roommate and I came home one night and found a baby skunk on our back porch with a slurpee lid stuck around it’s neck. (It looked like a cone that vets put on dogs to stop them from licking wounds.) I was born and raised in the big city, had no idea what to do, all i knew was that it HAD to come off. so i put on a pair of gloves, went outside, held down it’s butt so it couldn’t spray me and cut the lid off. I went online later that week and found out baby skunks can’t spray, so i was pretty lucky. I noticed when i cut it off, that the lid was starting to get stuck in the fur, so i had to cut some of his hair too, but no skin was exposed. I even saw the little guy a couple weeks later…obviously avoiding our porch.

  • Annette King Tucker

    There is a special place in my heart for wildlife rehabilitators who raise and release orphaned skunks. I have never turned them away and am the proud surrogate mother of hundreds, all now thankfully released back into the wild. Early on in my career as a wildlife care specialist, I learned that skunk spray, in the eyes, will ruin your day completely. It was then that my contact lenses were discarded and I have chosen to wear my glasses to prevent that pain from happening again. They are certainly a challenge, but I have learned the ropes to avoid spraying in captivity, but you also learn to cope with the odor while working after your stinker charges have resolved a disagreement.
    We love our skunks at Wild Heart Ranch, and are strong advocates for this amazing example of evolution. An animal who carries it’s own weapon should be more respected! We are grateful to PBS for bringing them to the forefront, and I would also like to send kudos out to one of my favorite Wildlife heroes, Ned Bruha, “The Skunk Whisperer” for his ground breaking nuisance removal methods that allow these displaced skunks as well as the rest of our wild friends, to go about their way after he has intervened.

  • Kit Carson

    #17 just made a mistake, baby skunks CAN and do “whiff” (spray). Next piece of advise, if pet skunks are legal in your locality do not descent a wild skunk to make a pet of it, buy a breeder raised skunk, their instincts have been altered to some degree, their colors are different, their size is larger and their diet is altered. But, they are the same sweet critters that come in the wild just happeier being a pet than a wild one is.


    I got my first skunk from a breeder an thought I was feeding her just fine , to find out at 1 year old she had a lot of trouble walking, then in a short while couldn’t walk. I searched for help, that’s when I found Deb at Skunk Haven. My vet said the skunk had very low calcium (Her bones were breaking) Deb told me what to feed her and what to watch for, And of all be patient. In aprox 6-7 months she was walking again and healing, bone density was back. She was 9 years old when she died. Since then she has helped me with my 2 new Skunks, whom are doing great thanks to her

    ::::THANK YOU:::: DEB

  • Carlene Ridenour

    I Love Skunks. The first wild one I saw I was so excited and we were camping and it was right underneath our brand new car. I kept shaking sleeping hubby to wake him up to look. He looked and said shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it will hear you and spray and of course it did not and I continued talking to it. It was so beautiful. Now I am the new Mommie to a little baby boy domestic skunker after having lost the love of my life. I can’t express how much she made me laugh and loved me in a special way and I cried for months and was not going to get another one and then someone rescued one that needed a Mommie and I knew that was me. Safado is a sweetheart too but I will never forget or get over losing my baby Georgie.

  • Mary Cummins

    I got a call about a paralyzed skunk in Silver Lake. This skunk was dragging his legs and couldn’t control his anal glands. I brought him home and he was still leaking spray on himself. Skunks don’t like getting spray on themselves. A veterinarian friend of mine suggested that I express his anal glands until he can control his glands. I believe I am probably the first, and last person to express a skunk’s anal glands. The spray never became aerosol but my eyes, nose, lips still burned. My mouth tasted like metal. Everything smelled like a bar with beer soaked carpeting for two weeks. If anyone needs to do this, use googles, nose clip and a nose/mouth mask while mouth breathing only. The skunk regained the ability to walk in two weeks, was finally releasable after two months. He was the sweetest little guy.

  • Brenda Holmes

    I am a proud mommy skunk to Scotty and Sunny DeSkunky. Scotty was adopted from Debbie Cipriani’s skunkhaven rescue. He will be 6 this year. Sunny came from a pet store. I can’t say in words how much I love my skunks and what fun we have at Skunkfest each year. They are amazing, wonderful animals. They are very clean and quiet. By far the best pets I have ever had.

  • Lynnda Butler

    Sage, a smoke chip, and Bu, a mahogany live in our home with four cats. Yes, skunks come in many different colors and yes, they make wonderful cuddlers. Some require more attention than others. They are not a cat or dog and require a varied diet and a vet who understands their differences. Sage is my little “Skoon” as he is nicknamed for his climbing ability of a raccoon. Many will say skunks don’t climb…I have baby locks on all my cabinets, refrigerator and areas he needs not to be in. Keeping ahead of what he’s thinking is a full time job. And yes, there are even skunk shows. Feel free to email me for some really funny pictures from our last show in Daytona Beach, Florida or if the thought of having a skunk as a pet in Florida is on your mind. President, Skunks As Pets, Inc. Florida

  • mensur mustedanagic

    nasty but i love the nature shows there cool

  • Andrea Morgan

    I am so glad that this show is airing to enlighten people on the wonderful skunks. Three own me, one bought and 2 recues. I will not have a home anymore without these little cuddlebugs in my life.

  • Judy Philen O’Connell

    I’ve always enjoyed the ‘night crew’ that comes into my yard looking for bugs, snails and the like. One memorable summer evening a certain momma and her 4 babies who always came into the backyard showed up earlier than usual, while I was still outside. I didn’t want to scare them by rushing indoors so I stood absolutely still as they toddled around the yard. The babies swarmed around me, nuzzling my bare feet with their wet little noses. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing ;) Very sweet creatures and always a great pleasure to see them on their nightly journey.

  • Cam Seigal

    I got my first skunk in 2000, she was an orphaned 2 week old. She taught me so many different things about what I thought I knew, and found out I didn’t. One of my favorite stories, and I have so many, but this one, I was allowed to take her to work with me, I had to feed her every two hours for awhile, anyway, after she opened her eyes and could follow me, she never left my side, or should I say my heels. It was awesome, but the best part is that at the time I worked in a facility for the aged. They all fell in love with her too. For the next 6 years she was a part of the facility and everybody there. She was a great teacher to all who got to know her. I can’t imagine my life without my skunks. She’s gone now, but I have 4 who I am blessed to have in my life. I will always have skunks.

  • inez walsh

    About 15 years ago I had ofgotten to close my garage door. At 7:30 AM I proceeded to my car so that I could drive to work. As I approached the rear of the vehicle I saw a baby skunk. Of course, I didn’t want to hurt it or even start up my car. I claped my hands and the little critter went under the car to the frint. I went baxk into my house and called my boss to tell her that I would be a little late and why. She said, “I’ve heard of fish stories, but never a skunk story. ” Ten minutes or so later I entered the garage near the front of the car and banged on the hood. No movement, yet. I banged the left fender and out it ran going between garages heading for the open road. My family always wondered if this little one was the baby of the skunk that “HIT” our neighborhood at 10″00PM for years. We could just about set our watches with the scent.

  • Dolores Lindvall

    I was born and raised on the farm, so skunks have never been a stranger to me. I always thought they were such pretty critters. Yes, they could fill the air with quite an aroma, but I knew that was the only defense they had. My dad only shot one skunk ever, and it was visibly sick. He always said that the skunks took care of a lot of the rodents who did damage in the corn crib. It wasn’t until I was very much an adult (a grama!) that I began my wonderful journey into the Skunk World. I have been owned by two who are now at The Bridge. Presently, my nine month old Sammi shares my home, bed, and, and like my two who are now angels, has a huge chunk of my heart. She was born in Iowa … shipped to Florida to a pet store … didn’t sell … was rescued … thru others in the Skunk World, traveled from Florida back to Iowa to her forever home. She has traveled a LOT more than I have! Be a skunk … travel to sooth a heart! :-)

  • Anita

    It has been a long time coming, but in July of 2007, I became the owner of my first skunk,Belle. She is a wild rescue and 3 homes before she came to me and her forever home. In December of the same year I was able to reunite Belle with her brother Pepe. He was placed in 3 home also before he came to me. I love my babies and they are great pets and so loving. They get along well with the dogs and cats also. I have loved my daughter’s skunks before I got my own and I still do. So not only am I a skunk Mommy, I am also a skunk Nana.

  • Stephanie Szmuc

    I’m an animal love of all kinds. I’m in my 30’s and have had animal family members all of my life. I have had as small as a hamster, to as big as a 12′ long alligator, and everything in between. I got my skunk Lacie from a breeder in 2008. I love her to death. She is the best pet I have every had. She has changed my life for the better. By watching and learning from her, I have adopted her claim way of life. I am going to get another one but it will be a rescued one from Deb Cipriani at Skunkhaven. They are wonderful animals (skunks that is)!!!!!

  • Kendra M.

    I am a animal lover, but the skunk has really made a huge impact on me. I have my own skunk kids and in 2007 my mom get herself two kits. They are wonderful pets full of unconditional love…what more could a person ask for!!

  • Azar Attura

    You know, I wish the person who had seen that skunk with a Nesquick can on its head had at least called the local animal shelter or wildlife rescue league. That skunk could have died with that can on his head. Also certain yogurt containers (Yoplait was mentioned in some cases) have a nasty habit of getting stuck on the heads of all wild critters who stick their heads into the container to get the last lick of yogurt. They CANNOT pull their heads out of those containers. These animals will suffocate becuz it is VERY hard for the animals to get that container off their heads. Have a heart — report any animal you see in distress and if you see ANY containers carelessly tossed on the street or the side of the road or at campsites — PLEASE put them in the proper receptacle– you may be saving many animals’ lives that way!

  • Diana Allen

    I have been proudly “owned” by 3 pet skunks. My first skunk, Cocoa Beanie, passed away a little over 2 years ago and I was devastated. I immediately banished the thought and friends’ advice to get another skunk…how could I possibly ever love another pet the way I loved Beanie? I cried so many times over the next few months but always refused to even think of getting another.
    One day I was contacted by a rep of SkunkHaven about an older skunk that had come to them and was in need of a home. I was not interested I told them. I just could not get close to another skunk only to lose him. Another month went by and this rep slowly turned my thinking around. I knew I had given Beanie the best 5 years I could and when he passed on, he knew how much he was loved. Now, another skunk needed someone to love him and care about him.
    How could I say NO? It took several weeks and a couple of wonderful volunteers to transport my new skunk, Charlie, from the shelter in Ohio to his new home on the opposite coast! But it only took one look at him to fall in love!
    Charlie has been with me almost 2 years now. We also have a younger boy, Trapper, who joined Charlie about 3 months after his arrival. Last year, Charlie was diagnosed with degenerative disease. He was unable to walk and the vet’s outlook was grim, telling me Charlie would never waalk again. They recommended I think about putting Charlie down. Once again, I was inconsolable and reached out to Deb at SkunkHaven. Deb, like so many other times, immediately formed a game-plan and sent me tons of information on skunk health. We came up with a supplement regimen and diet plan. Within one month of this new regimen, Charlie was up and walking! He has been on his feet since and I cannot thank Deb and the SkunkHaven staff for their support, their dedication and help for not only my Charlie, but for every domestic skunk out there. The word needs to get out about these wonderful people and what they have accomplished!
    Because of Deb and SkunkHaven, Charlie is living healthier and happier than ever before…and I have been able to share the good news AND educate my local vet on what I learned about skunk health. We are both better for it…but Charlie is a beautiful living-breathing-WALKING testimony!

  • Len Nicol

    My dad used to tell this story about meeting a skunk on his way down to the river on narrow path with his fishing pole in his hand. The trail cut down over the bank through thick salmon berries and ferns when suddenly he came face to face with a skunk coming up from the river. The skunk did a back flip and let go, then disappeared. My father was left standing there sprayed from top to bottom.

  • ANNE


  • Sebastian Miller

    We have a Skunk who was found wandering around London Airport(Skunks are not native to the UK). On investigation it appears that during the night he climbed aboard a cargo plane in Toronto when the door had been left open, and hitched a lift to London.
    We call him Stinky, and although a wild Skunk he never fires off and allows himself to be gently stroked. Skunks are amazing animals that seem to have a natural affection for humans.

  • Laura knight

    Magick my skunk was once found in my fridge on one of the shelves eating mashrooms, I all most died, he was so lucky the fridge door didnt shut on him. It taught me a lesson thats for sure.

  • Tanya

    I am owned by four domestic skunks, one black and white classic (like you’d see in the woods), one albino..yep, pink eyes, nose, toes, one smoke marble and one smoke swirl..both of which are gray and white with different “patterns”. The last three I walk on a leash. The black and white just walks with me all over town, no leash. Some of the looks we get from people are priceless!

  • katye mckissock

    I got my first skunk baby, Michael, back in 1978. He was the love of my life. Until I got him — he was an albino male, by the way, I had never thought of owning a skunk. And now, I can’t inmagine not sharing my life with at least one! It’s not the same as a cat or dog (and I also have a husky and 3 cats). Somehow, the skunks and I just understand each other. Perhaps it’s a totem animal or some weird psyhic thing, I really don’t know. I just know that my relationship with the 3 I have now, Marsh (albino male — I always seem to wind up with one), Prissy (a blank and whie female) and Tinker (a black and white male), is totally unique and somehow it makes me feel very settled and content to be around them. Even just to watch them wander around my living room and snort at my dog is for me very calming. Every one of them has had such a strong personality too. I’ve had crabby skunks, bossy skunks, devilish sknunks, huggy lap-skunks, the whole gamut. Skunks aren’t right for everybody, but for me, it’s a perfect fit.

  • Ricki McKissock

    My mom is #40 — I just wanted to say that not only is she an awesome mom and a great person, she is also a rep for Skunk Haven (PA). They do a lot of really good work educating people about skunks and taking care of ones that nobody wants. All 3 of my mom’s fur kids right now are rescues from people who couldn’t take care of them. Mom also is editor of The Skunk News, which is a really cool newstetter Skunk Haven puts out for its members.

  • Max Pfeifer

    Re: Nesquick can stuck on skunk’s head

    It was 30 years ago, and I was only 10 years old on my paper route at 5:30 am. I apologize that I didn’t have the maturity to immediately call the wildlife rescue league. Jeez, relax.

  • Kristi Puryear

    On a recent trip to Tennessee from Norfolk,Virginia we were “skunked” 19 times from the venting system in our truck. My husband had warned me that the scenery is beautiful but it might not smell so good once we hit the border of Tennessee. Sure enough as we passed Bristol,there came the smell all the way to our final stop in Knoxville. What an experience!!!!t

  • Marie Hayes

    About 3 years ago I lived on a farm with my husband and small son. We enjoyed seeing the skunks and other wildlife almost daily. Until we started to smell skunk spray every night. It seemed like our dog was constantly being sprayed. Then one day out of the blue when I went outside one day a giant skunk charged at me. But it didn’t spray be, it just stood it’s ground. I went back in and didn’t think much of it. Over the next couple of days though every time myself or my family went outside the same skunk would charge at us. I was 8 months pregnant with a 2 year old as well so I was worried about the skunk having rabies and biting myself or my child.
    So we had someone come out and kill the skunk. I was relieved but sad at the same time because I knew that skunks were sweet gentle animals that just wanted to be left alone. We didn’t think much of it until 2 days later, when we heard squeeling.
    Our dog had found and killed a kit!! I FELT TERRIBLE!!!!! The “rabid” skunk was actually a mommy :( I still feel terrible to this day! The next day a heard some noise again and ran out to help. The dog had another kit but hadn’t killed it. So I picked it up with a shovel and started walking to the back of our shop to put it in a safe place. Halfway there the poor little thing sat up and looked at me with this sad face. I knew they could spray young to I walked pretty fast the rest of the way to where I was putting the little guy. I went back later to check and the skunk was gone. (and the dog hadn’t gotten it.)
    I am still sad about killing the mommy skunk. Also I wonder what happened to that baby.
    So I would like to tell everyone out there. Don’t assume that they are all rabid. ALWAYS call animal control first so you don’t end up killing a mommy like I did. It’s heartbreaking!

  • Anne-Marie Kott

    I was walking from my house towards my garage when I noticed a large skunk, pulling over and over at something that was hidden from view. I walked closer and saw that a mother skunk was trying to pull her five baby skunks out of our soccer net. Each kitten-sized baby skunk was caught, hanging from the net,wiggling and softly crying. I ran to my house and grabbed my husband’s favorite rain coat, goggles, gloves and scissors. As I was running back through the yard, I heard my husband calling, “not in my coat!” I carefully freed each skunk while the mother watched. I then left to attend a play at Wellesley College. Sitting in the audience, I heard the person in front of me whisper, “WHAT is that smell?!”

  • Judy Slade

    Skunks are wonderful critters, both wild and domestic. Years ago on my farm in Michigan, a mother skunk raised her litters in my barn over a period of three years. She never sprayed us, or the horses, or the dogs or cats. She did however get a good shot off at my Toulouse gander, who would never leave well enough alone. That goose was just plain mean, and he deserved it. I now live in Florida, where I’m owned by two domestic skunkie furballs. I got my first domestic skunk over thirty years ago, and I was hooked. I founded The Florida Skunk Rescue five years ago to help find loving homes for Domestic Skunks. (

  • Kathleen

    This happened tonight… I had the front door open because it was hot in the house and a skunk walked in the door. It looked around and then walked out. I slammed the door shut in a panic. I’ve seen it before. I think that it lives under my porch.

  • Pamela

    We have skunks near year round here in my yard. While all the other neighbors and my family are petrified and run indoors, I just sit on my porch with my coffee and smoke, and watch them. If one wanders on the porch to close to me, I merely tssssss at him and shooo him away. They always look up at me, cock their head to one side and then toddle off to eat or play. We seem to have an understanding.

  • Jonnie

    I found skunks made wonderful pets. During the last 10 years I had 4 females and they were raise with my cat. They were very loving animals who cuddle with me every chance they got. Now that they have passed I will miss them very much. They brought joy and happiness and I made a lot of friends around the country who have own or have skunks as pets.

  • Ginny Reinman

    I got my first skunk, Rozie, a brown and white in the spring of 1997. I read up on them, got into the Skunks As Pets group, but it was very challenging. I came home one day and was greeted by a sticky walk, Rozie had gotten in the fridge and grabbed a bag of marshmallows. Of course she got a bath. When the winter came, she loved to sleep with me. I had a waterbed, so between the heat of the bed, me, and the blankies, she made a nice den, only I found her one night leaning her tail end over the bed to poop, because she was too cold to leave the bed to find the litter box. I have had 3 skunks come from breeders and the rest are rescues. I love all animals, but skunks are my favorite.

  • Share Bond

    As a wildlife rehabilitator in Los Angeles for 18 years, boy do I have stories that could keep you entertained for a whole day! I have some of the stories on my SKUNKS Scentral web site as well as helpful ideas on how to peacefully coexist with this creature and the benefits of doing so. I’ve had to deal with every situation imaginable that I’ve come to know how they think, what every twitch means, that I’ve written many books and articles on them, as well as how to rehabilitate them. The next book is The Skunk Whisperer which will amuse you with stories from beginning to end.

    I guess my most amusing story is when an elderly lady called me to remove a family of skunks from under her house. I caught the mom first, then half the babies. The woman watched how I caught them without being sprayed, so called me the next morning to tell me that SHE had caught the rest of them. I was ready to release them when a TV production company let me know that they wanted to film the release and other work that I do. Ok, this was the first time that I had a ‘family’ of skunks and was wondering how I could clean the cage without being sprayed. To make a long story short, I carefully took out one baby at a time to wash them but mom’s tail slowly slid out from under all the babies as I took the first one. I talked with her explaining what I was going to do. As I returned the first clean baby, she pulled him to her as I took the second baby. As I returned the second baby – all sweet smelling and clean – she pulled him to her and ACTUALLY started pushing the dirty babies towards me so I’d wash them too!! They are truly the most entertaining creature I’ve ever worked with!

  • Melanie

    I have a skunk in my bed every night and would not have it any other way.
    She is now almost 7 years old and I will be heartbroken when I do not have her anymore. I would have a skunk before a cat any day, even though I also love my 15 year old cat.

  • Susan Stainback

    I am the proud mom to two domestic skunks who had a less than pleasant beginning. The one I want to discuss is Raphael. He was returned after several months of poor diet and abuse and I received him by way of his original breeder. Unfortunately, Raphael had been give raw chicken with bone-in that is supposed to be safe. Unfortunately, that was not the case. For 6 weeks Ralphie daily had bloody prolapsed [his colon being pushed out of his rectum] and I was nearly to the point of having his colon and intestines sewn in to inhibit this painful happening. I had tried every dietary change, etc etc, Finally Cody and Arnold Hildabrand, of the Wild Brother Skunk Research group, suggested as a last resort to give him high fiber foods… had tried low fiber, etc etc. The night after his first day on this diet, while I was helping him pull the prolapse back inside I felt something sharp. I did not want to try to extract it in case I might tear his colon or intestines. The following day a sharp shard of chicken leg bone came out and since that day Raphael has not had a single prolape. The reason I want to share this is that when there is pleasant outdoor weather, often unaware picnickers and campers toss chicken bones or other food remnants into the wild so the animals can enjoy. Unfortuanately, as seen in Ralphie’s case, instead such well meaning actions can result in much pain and suffering and possibly even death of our wild friends. For this reason, I am asking that as picnickers and campers we carry out the remains of our foods to protect those beautiful wild creatures we enjoy seeing so much. It is the truly kind thing to do. Thank you for reading this.

  • Briggsy

    A mother skunk fell into one of our window wells and her seven babies fell (or jumped) in after her. We hired a trapper to remove them all and take them to the forest preserve for release.

  • Edward

    My family and I went to a campground in Virginia called Beth Page. At sundown every night the skunks came right through the grounds. They walked right down the middle of the campground and mingled with the humans. Without getting to close they looked for what ever they could get and moved on. You could always tell when they were there because they brought their very noticeable calling card with them. If you are ever at this campground, hang around the main road near the playground and you will very likely see and smell them.

  • Todd-Fort Wayne, IN

    I grew up on a dairy farm and had encountered many wild animals. One fall around midnight, I was helping my dad bring in the cows from pasture when he yelled, “Don’t move”. As I found out, I was too late. My mom rushed me into the tub and used her recently canned tomato juice to help eliminate the odor. I seem to remember smelling like a skunk spray and tomato juice combination. I’m not sure which was worse!

  • Evelyn Lamb

    During a hot, droughty summer in central Texas, I found a mother skunk and her babies in our swimming pool. We never knew when they would show up and take over the pool so we couldn’t swim.

  • ryan

    We were renovating our kitchen as a result we had lots of take out. The racoons would dump our garbage and the skunks would share the bounty. Eventually we just put out our scraps in a foil dish. We had 3 yearling racoons and a young skunk eat out of the same dish. They would push each other out of the bowl like four puppies on a dish of food. Our cats would watch just 3 feet away. It was amazing. They came nightly and would barely flinch when we came close. The skunk never sprayed.

  • karen ballard

    When I lived in a small farming community in the mountains east of Salt Lake City, I discovered that the local skunks had been helping themselves to the cat food left on my back deck. so I placed the food dishes up on the picnic table, out of skunk reach. The next day I was sitting on my lawn swing enjoying the view of my lush vegetable garden, when a young skunk waddled past. He stopped, gave me the stink eye, and squeezed through a hole in the garden fence. The next day three rows of young vegetables were dug up, not eaten, just neatly layed out for my inspection. Taking the cue from the skunk mafia, I replaced the food dishes back on the deck, happy to share my largesse with the little gangsters.

  • Sara Sage Harrison

    About 5 yrs. ago we had a mother skunk & her 3 babies living under our bathroom & livingroom. I loved to watch them come out every night at dusk, so cute I thought & was delighted to have my new wild roommates! That was until the babies grew older & then they started to fight & then spray under the house! The smell was so bad it filled the whole house, people would come to the door & immediately comment on the terrible smell, it lasted for a yr.! We had to have someone come & live trap them one by one & take them to the country. It broke my heart to see them in those cages but they had to go, inspite of the smell I do miss them, my husband bought me a skunk puppet to always remember them by!

  • lucy

    My sister’s dog looooves skunks. He thinks they taste great, so it isn’t suprising that he gets sprayed once every spring. One year he managed to get sprayed twice in one night! The first time on his way up to the house; the second on the way to the arena where he was spending the night. How did he smell the next day? WHOOOOO! Although I discovered that if you use baking soda and peroxide it helps. Also the chlorine removing shampoos work well too. (it helps if the dog has short fur)
    The next summer a skunk tried to make its’ home in the crawl space under the house. One day the house smelled fine, the next WOW! it smelled terrible. You could taste it! Nothing like a heat wave and skunk! Despite airing out the house and fans in the crawl spaces there are times when I still smell the skunk.

  • Julia Papesch

    It was the Fourth of July in 2005. After eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant, my family and I stopped home to get my dog to bring her to the fireworks show. We watched in a church parking lot. My dog started barking really loudly…I thought she was scared of the fireworks. I opened the door, rolled down the window, and shut it again. My dog was then hanging out the window and attempted to jump…she escaped out of my reach. She darted away, and I screamed, “Pepper!”
    She darted to the side of the church…it was then that I realized that she was running after a skunk! She followed it behind a bush, where people gathered around and tried to get Pepper out. It was too late – she was sprayed. We had to leave right in the middle of the fireworks show, and took her home and hooked her up outside. We went inside and phoned a vet – he told us a recipe to make the terrible smell go away – the stench was all over the car, too.
    We realized that we didn’t have one of the ingredients! We rushed to the pharmacy. My mom made a wrong turn. You didn’t think the Fourth of July could get any worse – but a police officer stopped us and slowed us down.
    He bent over by the window and crinkled his nose. “What is that terrible smell?” he asked. My mom was embarrassed – we had the smell all over us. He let us off with a warning once my mom told him the story.
    In the pharmacy, my mom and I were like a people-repellant. People eyed us, disgusted. It was pretty embarrassing.
    When we got home, we had to bathe my dog in the concoction the vet gave us. It was very cold and wet and uncomfortable, and we didn’t get the smell completely away until about a week later.
    That was a pretty skunky Fourth of July.

  • Sheila

    I lived in a small New York state town for a few years and noticed the skunks. I noticed them, in fact, every night at 6:00 when the volunteer fire department would set off their alarms. Evidently, the alarm would startle the skunks. So every single night the town would fill with that special skunk smell. I blamed the firemen.

  • Karen Wallace

    When I was growing up in Manchester, Iowa, we raised lots of baby skunks in our neighborhood. I had not had direct with any for years, and then last summer I had a close encounter of an amazing kind. I was on my way to Waterloo on old highway 20. I saw a skunk in a field not far from the road. It appeared to be playing with some sort of container. I thought of it during the day and thought it odd that a nocturnal creature would be out and about during the day. Hours later, I returned on the same road. There on the shoulder of the road was the skunk with its head stuck in what appeared to be an olive jar. I drove home to get my husband who has become accustomed to my frequent animal rescues. We returned to the scene with tools which would hopefully release the terrorized animal. Nothing worked. We went to a nearby farmer and asked to borrow a tire iron. It was probable that even if we could break the jar, the jagged rim would remain around its neck. By this time the skunk had released every bit of “scent”. With one perfect strike with the tire iron, the skunk was free. The jar and the rim had broken; my surprised husband and a surprised animal stood and looked at each other. The skunk waddled off into the field. It was a miracle! WE LOVE SKUNKS!

  • Diane Gilliam

    We live in Connecticut and it was my teenage son’s job to walk our Old English Sheepdog every night before bed. He had the smelliest sneakers ever and one night as they returned from their walk, my son, who was 13 and afraid of skunks, was being followed by a mother skunk and 4 little ones. My son and his dog were running by the time they reached the driveway and the skunks were running too! They made it into the house and the skunks soon disappeared.

  • Judy Brown

    When I was in high school, my family added a room onto our house in the woods. One kitchen wall was temporarily a sheet of heavy duty plastic. My dad heard a sound in the middle of the night and discovered a skunk in the opening. It sprayed him and the entire kitchen. He got rid of the intruder and went back to bed. Mama was so pleased! The smell permeated throughout the house and settled on everything. Against our better judgement we kids went to school. We were the butt of a lot of insults and jokes. We should have stayed home.

  • blair ribeca

    We had a skunk for eight years.her name was Hepzibah.I named her after Miss Mamzell Hepzibah from the Pogo comics strip from years ago. Then I took a course in Hebrew and learned her name meant,”my delight is in her” and so it was.She was the most delightful creature a person could know.Each night at the same time she would do her dance up and down the hall,stamping and twirling.She slept with us all winter long in our bed and sometimes when I would fall asleep while watching TV she would climb along my body,stand on my shoulder and snort in my ear to wake me up.When she died we drove around listening to Tabla Rasa by Arvo Part,the saddest music for the saddest day.

  • Chris

    For the first 21 years of my life I hated the smell of skunks like most everyone else. My friends think I am crazy but now I love the smell of skunks. Back in 1988, I returned home from a six month deployment on an aircraft carrier. For half a year, I was surrounded by odors like jet fuel, half burnt hydraulic oil, and a half dozen other industrial stenches. The first thing I did when I reached port in Norfolk, Virginia was rent a car and started eagerly driving the 1,000 miles toward central Illinois. It was wonderful finally being home. One of the first odors I smelled as I crossed into West Virginia was the powerful odor of a nearby skunk. I took a deep breath through my nose and realized after six months of industrial smells that I was overjoyed to be home again, and suddenly I realized I love the smell of skunks. Ever since I guess my brain associates the smell of skunks with the joy of a homecoming. I can’t take a big enough breath (through my nose) to satisfy me when I smell a skunk.

  • Pam White

    I am a veterinarian and nature lover in Ontario, Canada. One of my clients took in an orphaned wild male skunk kit as a pet, although I kind of recommended against it. She had him descented (by another vet, because I wouldn’t do it), and I would vaccinate him against rabies each year. Fortunately, he remained gentle all his life. He was so cute. When I visited my client’s house to vaccinate him, he would walk around the room stomping and showing his annoyance with me, then would “spray” us.
    I once saw a skunk strolling along a sidewalk in downtown Montreal. Another time, a juvenile sauntered past me in Long Point, on Lake Erie. Of course, my main experiences with skunks has been dealing with the dogs and occasional cats who have been sprayed. And it REALLY stinks!!

  • Joan Cutler

    My older brothers were always rescuing animals,one of which was a baby skunk. Because of this our neighbors always called upon them to remove various critters from the inground garbage receptacles. My eldest brother lifted the metal lid to find not a racoon as he’,d been told, but an angry skunk. Guuess the rest. After scrubbing him raw my mother sent him on to school in clean clothes.As the classroom heated up, so to did the aroma!My brother was sent home in disgrace from fifth grade.It was WWII, those were his only shoes.

  • Shelia – Muskogee, OK

    When I was a little girl in northern Indiana (50 miles north of Ft Wayne), my wiser 2 years older sister held the paper sack while I shooshed a young skunk into it, getting sprayed in the process. We proudly took our prize catch home to present to our mom in the kitchen. She quickly sent us outside where we released the critter. Ever since that time almost 50 years ago, I have had a bond with skunks and their scent which most people find repulsive!

  • Elise

    We were going to have a party and there was a skunk on the porch. My dad called a friend to live trap the skunk. He came over and caught the skunk, but it did spray. My dad had been watching and taking pictures,and he walked through the house and the smell was in the house. My dad also went to the store without changing his clothes. Every so often, while our party was going on, we could smell the skunk’s spray when the breeze came by. Our friend did release the skunk.
    We had a dog who got sprayed twice and we did bathe her in tomato juice.

  • Donna Kaminski

    I live out in the country and two summers ago, my husband and I had a skunk living under one of our outbuildings. The only thing that was sprayed all summer long was a corner of our house next to the dog yard. I think the skunk was startled by the dogs the first time it came around that corner, but once it knew they were there, it never sprayed again. I saw it several times when I would take one of my dogs out at night and it never even gave us a second look. My husband was terrified that we would be sprayed, but I enjoyed having the skunk as a neighbor. That fall it moved on and we haven’t had a resident skunk since.

  • Eric Bateman

    Great show! A few years ago, I was cleaning out the garage and came across a bag of clothes. I looked inside and there was our cat, a black and white long-hair, curled up inside…at least, that’s what I thought. Just before I pulled her out I realized, hey, you’re not Snoopy! A small striped skunk was fast asleep inside. I called animal control, but they weren’t interested unless it showed signs of rabies. So I waited until dusk and left a trail of cat food out the open garage door leading a few hundred feet from the house. Sure enough, peering out the window a few minutes later, we saw the skunk eating her way away from the house. I crept outside, closed the garage door, and took a cautious sniff of the clothes bag. Nothing. You could tell an animal had been sleeping in it, but as for a skunk, no olfactory sign at all.

  • Mary Nell Hawk

    In the mid 1960’s my family used to go tent camping by Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The campground was an open field and skunks would occasionally walk down through it at night from the woods, en route to the lake. Once we woke up and saw a bulge moving slowly under the canvas tent floor, out, and on toward the lake. Since we had no food in there, I don’t know why the skunk decided to go under, not around our tent!

  • Kathy Moll

    I worked at a property management company and people knew I loved animals. One day one of the engineers found a litter of skunk kits whose mother had been killed by a car. They called me to come help with them. I told them not to feed the kits milk, but they did anyway. I contacted a wildlife rehabber I knew and arranged to get the kits to her. I was shocked when she told me they could spray as kits. They were very cute.

  • Susan – Glenmoore, PA

    I live in the country and care for a number of feral/semi-feral cats. Some of the them live in my garage, so I leave the door open a few inches so that they can get in and out. I came home from work one day and noticed an odd odor. I discovered a small skunk sleeping in a cat bed. The odor wasn’t that of a skunk that had sprayed, it just was a gamey odor. I could not get the skunk to leave the bed. It just stayed there staring at me. It stayed all night and through the next day before I was able to get it out the following evening by placing food outside the garage door. I think that it was sick as it seemed to have some trouble walking, dragging it’s rear legs. Obviously, I was concerned about rabies or some other neurological problem. After it left the garage, I closed the doors and did not see it again. I regularly see other skunks, but not the one that was in the garage. I threw the cat bed out. I enjoy watching the skunks in my yard, but the garage was a bit too close for my liking.

  • Michael C. Luckenbach

    I live in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago and am very involved in ‘Alley Cat Allies’, working with feral cats. I am currently working with a family of feral cats (Mom & 4 offspring) who were born raised in a garage with a family of skunks. The young cats and skunks are the same age and are ‘pals’. Go to this site:
    for a picture of one of the skunks having dinner under our rear porch. The skunks are not aggressive toward me at all. In fact when I whistle for the cats to give them their evening meal, often a members of the skunk family will appear as well. Its quite a scene.

  • Ginny Miller

    I loved watching your show tonight! I live near a patch of woods in upstate NY and this past summer I had five adult skunks come down into the little yard outside my window each night. They were eating the leftover bird seed and nuts that I throw out for the birds and squirrels every day. I am disabled and sit by my window with my camera all the time. I have photos and video of the skunks. One was my favorite. I would open the window and talk to it and it would come right over and get a walnut from me. It would stand up on it’s hind legs and beg. I haven’t seen any since winter started. But I look forward to seeing them again in the spring.

  • John Watson

    As a teenager, I found a baby skunk and made a pet of him, frequently keeping him in the house much to my mothers horror. He was not “fixed” but never offered to spray. My mom let him out one night for a little fresh air and a neighbor shot him.

    Later, as a young graduate student, over 50 years ago, I fell heir to 5 babies. One of my professors was a prominent vet., Dr. J. K Northway of the King Ranch. I mentioned to him that I would like to have the skunks “de-scented”. He said he didn’t know anyone who would do it, but he would be happy to explain the details. He spent one lecture period explaining the necessary tools and procedure-said every Ag. Teacher needed to know how to do it!!

    I managed to get a small pair of surgical scissors, a and small pair of surgical clamps and a cardboard box, which I cut the side out of and covered with glass. This allowed me to work on the skunks “under glass” and preclude an accident. With the assistance of a friend, we “did” 5 skunks, with great success-and no mishaps! I ultimately gave three of them away and kept two. They were the greatest pets I ever had!! Used a “sandbox” just like cats, rode with us in the car and walked the sidewalks of the college town (on leashes)catching June bugs and creating quite a sensation!

    The only problem we encountered was that they are nocturnal by nature, and would frequently wake us during the night getting into stuff. Their favorite trick was to get into my shoes and dig the lining out!!

    Unfortunately, they were not aware that they had lost their only means of defense and fell prey to a dog that jumped the fence while they were playing in my back yard. One that we had given away, lived for several years and reached a weight of about 15 pounds!

  • Michael Kamp

    After a hard day of yard work (weed-whacking)I took a break for resting my over worked body and some dinner. As the darkness of the evening was well along and I needed to finish my yard clean up,I proceeded to haul out the few bags of yard refuse, out to the recycle bins. As I walked between the garage and fence of my yard, in total darkness I spotted what seemed to be a 2-3 ft.weed waving in the night’s gentle breeze, approximatley 10 ft.away. I first questioned my yard work skills,as to how in the world could I have possibly missed this weed with my trusty ole weedeater, in the full light of the day. As I stepped closer, still heading toward the alley, the supposed weed seemed to move back away from me ,backing into the corner of my wood pile. I stopped suddenly and paused, letting my eyes adjust more to the darkness, for I had entered into an area of my yard where the sensor lights don’t reach. Yes there before me stood Mr./Ms. Skunk waving his/her fluffed tail at me (the so called, tall weed blowing in the wind…..WAS NOT!!!) Without hesitation I did a 180, tripping over one of the lawn bags I was toting, falling flat on my face. Then I looked over my shoulder to see what the walking (stink weed’s) move was gonna be, now that I was at his/her level and mercy. I squinted in the darkness only to see the little polecat waddling away, in the opposite direction. Getting up and brushing myself off, I had a good chuckle to myself over what had just transpired. Living in close proximity to woods and a city park area, I’ve grown accustomed to plenty of visits from many of the furry creatures of whom share my neighborhood (racccoons,possum,feral cats and even deer) very rarely do I get to see skunk. That is why I thought I saw a bush in the night breeze and not Pepe Le Pew. Telling my Dad of this incident, he mentioned that he had once heard that it pains a skunk to emit it’s spray, so they tend to hold back their spritz unless it’s absolutely necessary for them to do so. Seeing the Nature program and the close up of how the tubes come out of the anal area of the skunk, gave a little credence to the old wive’s tale my Dad had passed on to me. This was about as close for me as I ever want to get to having to take a tomato juice bath.

  • Sharon Rakoczy

    Many years ago when our boys were small we had an encounter with a skunk. Our son came running into the house all excited because a skunk was in the road running from curb to curb. I went to see what was happening and discovered that a young skunk had gotten its head stuck inside one of those tapered yogurt cups. After watching it for a couple of minutes I decided that I would grab the cup and run. Skunk would scurry and hit the curb, turn and scurry in the opposite direction, hitting the opposite curb. I grabbed the cup and gave it a tug, moving away from the skunk as quickly as possible. I turned around to see where the skunk was. He had run in the opposite direction but had turned to see where I was. There we were in the middle of the street, looking at each other with what I would like to believe was a look of thanks on his little black and white face. The skunk sauntered off. I presume he never tried eating left over yogurt ever again.

  • darlene Scott

    Just before dusk as my daughter and I were leaving a state park we saw a mother skunk and her four babies walking close to the road. They were close enough for my daughter to get a good photograph of them, so I stopped the car. Having had a few close calls with skunks and being sprayec each time, I warned my daughter not to roll the window down but to shoot through the glass just in case. I also started to flash my lights to warn the oncoming cars. I didn’t want anything to harm that skunk family. The first car slowed down as it passed the mom and babies. The second car was close behind and was going very slow too. The mom skunk continued walking close to the road, but when the second car was passing her, she ran over to it and sprayed it then rand down to her babies and was gone. So much for skunks not protecting themselves (and their family) from moving cars.

  • David Weitzler

    Leaving a building in an office park that seemed far from any wilderness, I chose to cut behind a row of shrubs on the way to the the parking lot. Mid way and as I was raising one foot I heard a snake-like hiss and there where I had intended to place the foot was a young, striped skunk. I slowly backed away and nothing happened.

  • Sara

    I was camping out in Hells Canyon and we had just turned in for bed. I heard someone down by the kitchen shooing away what I could only guess were skunks. I always sleep on my stomach with my elbows out to the side, and my elbows were not in my sleeping bag. As I started drifting to sleep I felt a light nibbling on my right elbow. I probably stirred a bit and then jerked my head up to see a little skunk bottom waddling away. Thankfully, I didn’t get sprayed! I found out the next morning that my friend had shooed away about 6 skunks in the kitchen that night.

  • Lori Aull

    I loved the show! I feel a bit like I’m cheating as my story about the tiny skunk who taught me how to fish is actually something I blogged on awhile back. Not to seem repetitive I’ll post the link…

    Living rural I have a lot more (Like when my pup was cleaned with pizza sauce and loved it because of the sinking pepperoni in the bathtub… I still swear cleaning a pup with Chef Boyardee pizza sauce is the method a pup likes best…) but just tossing up the story.

  • marsha Gresko

    My dachshund rudy should be writing this…Our folly lasts for YEARS>…We live in San Diego, CA and at the edge of a canyon. Once the smell was so strong that i called the Fire department, because I thought that wires were burning. the fire department did not charge me because they said…”we do this all of the time”. During the past calendar year.. my beloved doxie…rudy has been the recipient of 4 direct hits…Everything…for months, including the humans in the house reeked…In fact, the scent seems to resurrect itself each time Rudy is wet!
    Since doxies must sleep in the bed…( a dachshund rule). We live with the waning scent constantly. The only thing to ameliorate the scent is a
    the concoction as follows : just as the show just said…peroxide/baking soda and dishwashing soap.. My dog is a REPEAT offender. good luck-all

  • Susan McKeen

    Growing up in Pennsylvania, I never knew anyone had a skunk as a pet. They ran in your backyard and you knew enough to enjoy them but keep your distance. It took a visit to one of our exotic pet stores here in Florida where I now live to realize just how hooked you can get. You see those smally furry babies and you want to take them all home! Now with a house full of our own, we also volunteer with the Florida Skunk Rescue and assist with fostering and rehoming. To be owned and loved by one or several (in many cases) is an honor.

  • Joyce

    My husband and I enjoyed your show tonight. I would like to share a personal skunk tale, which happened Friday, Jan. 2, 1998.
    We’d had guests for dinner on New Year’s Day and put the garbage out beside the deck before bedtime. By the way, we live in a rural area north of Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada. I got up to go to work, letting my two little dogs, Mitzi and Casey, out for their morning constitutional. When I called them to come in a short while later they did not respond so I began to walk around the house wearing only my housecoat and slippers, (it was unusually balmy for that time of year), calling for them. As I got closer to the garbage bag I’d put outside the night before I noticed several holes in it. At first I thought my newly adopted Pomeranian, Casey, had gotten into it. My theory was blown very quickly when a full grown skunk wriggled out of the bag and came straight for me. I ran screaming to the front door leading onto the deck , which was still locked. The skunk kept coming for me and I kept running and screaming when suddenly Mitzi and Casey ran up to the deck. The skunk promptly turned and attacked Mitzi, who began to scream in pain. I took a quick assessment of the situation, deciding to save my “baby”, bent over, grabbed that skunk around the neck and squeezed until the skunk let go. With the skunk hanging from my hands by the neck I carried it around to the back door at which point my husband, Don, opened it. I begged him to do something; he was too shocked to be able to figure out what to do so he recommended I throw it away. I said I couldn’t because it would again either attack me or the dogs who were still outside. Shortly after they came round the corner again and Don let them into the house and closed the door. I then used up every bit of strength I had left and threw it away. It was not dead and later proceeded to attack both Don and our lab, Sheba, who carried the skunk by the neck until Don convinced her to drop it and come into the shed. Long story, short, we all needed rabies shots, our dogs got shots and were quarantined. The skunk was ultimately shot by the Game Warden. It tested positive for rabies.
    Later that day at work, I received a dozen red roses with a note from Don which said, “To the bravest woman I know”. What I have to do to get roses!!

  • Kim Fleury

    I have 3 Great Lakes skunk tales that I’ll enter in installments: 1st tale, on Lake Huron in Michigan – My parents had a very friendly golden retriever named Captain. Their bedroom opens onto the back deck but doesn’t have windows, so one oppressively hot summer they took to sleeping with the patio door open. Captain took to sleeping smack in front of the door. One night, they were roused from sleep by Captain’s “friend-making” snorts, and wondered what animal was outside the bedroom. Then came the startled yelps of pain and the unmistakable odor. Poor dog was foaming at the nose and mouth, tears streaming from his eyes. The vet was actually worried because it was such a high “dose,” and worse, was “taken” internally. Captain was laid up sick for three days, too weak to move. Two weeks later, his breath was still atrocious enough to set off my gag reflex, and he broke wind frequently, passing skunk stench from both ends. That lovable dog never did stop inviting every skunk he met to be his friend, often paying a very dear price. Mom figured he must have met enough friendly skunks somewhere along the way to make him decide it was worth the risk.

  • Dennis Rathbourn


    By Dennis Rathbourn

    Comedian Tim Allen once said that men were only good for two things: auto repairs and lawn maintenance. Or at least I think that’s what he said. It could have been hauling luggage and lawn maintenance but one thing’s for sure: lawn maintenance was one of them. I’m not unlike millions of other men out there in that I love my lawn; in fact I worship it. But lately, something is ripping it apart during the night. I call them The Invisible Raiders.
    They are invisible because I never see them, or it. I don’t hear them, or it, either. It all started a few years ago in the fall. Every year in late September or early October, after the summer lawn has faded and dried out, I reseed the lawn with a new seed mix composed of rye grass and fescue. It takes a few weeks of heavy watering and the usual warm Santa Ana winds we get here in Southern California to germinate those seeds. Then, the miracle takes place and my new green lawn comes up like gangbusters. It looks so good, I find myself just staring at it every morning over a cup of coffee and my one-a-day cigarette.
    One morning last year I awoke, got out of bed, put on my slippers, went over to the window and raised the pull down shade, and… Holy Crap, my lawn was destroyed! Big chunks of it pulled out of mother earth and strewn about the backyard; my new lawn had been ruined by Godzilla. I opened the sliding glass door and ran out to our deck, down the steps to the patio, and out to the edge of what was a perfect lawn. I began to cry. It was like losing a child. And yet, there was hope.
    The invisible raider hadn’t ruined the whole lawn, just parts of it. This called for an investigation. I ran back in the house and put on my bathrobe and my reading glasses. I was Sherlock Holmes. First order of business: find out where the invisible raider entered the yard. There are only two ways to get in my backyard, no, three. One entrance is from the garage, the other from the West side of the house and down the garden path; the third, of course, was from the house and out onto the deck and down the very steps that I had just traversed.
    Second, examine the evidence. This was critical to my case. The monster had left a clue, but only when I examined the holes in the lawn did I find it. This monster liked to dig holes in the lawn but not just for the sake of digging. It was actually AFTER something in the ground. And the ground gave me my first clue. Being soft from so much watering, the impression of three toes or claws was visible in every hole. Some holes were deeper than others but to get to whatever the monster was seeking caused huge three and four inch clumps of my brand new lawn to be torn out and left nearby to die.
    It sickened me. It also got mud all over my slippers and my wife was going to kill me if I got any of this on the living room carpet. I had to repair the damage immediately or my lawn would die. The monster had come in from the west side of the house and worked his way north. Thank God he only destroyed the north yard; the east side lawn was still intact. Must have got his fill of whatever he was digging for, I thought.
    Later that morning over breakfast, I told my wife that I had come to the conclusion that this invisible raider must have four feet and three toes or claws. I wondered if it ate people, too.
    “What do you think it is, honey?” I asked.
    “Three toes, huh? It’s probably Amos next door. He walks on his knuckles, doesn’t he?”
    “No”, I said, “it’s probably raccoons. Or big birds, they have three claws, too.”
    Whatever it was, it liked to eat something underground. That’s it! The monster liked worms. Now all I had to do was erect a barricade to keep the monster out and think of some kind of deterrent to make it stay away. Ammonia works every time. I got an old towel, ammonia from underneath the sink, went out to the garage and grabbed my ladder. At dusk, I set up everything in anticipation of the monster’s return; placed the ladder at the narrow entryway on the west side of the house and soaked the towel with ammonia. Placing the towel so it faced the front entry to the backyard, I looked at my barricade with pride. No monster would dare sniff this stuff and still have the wherewithal to go any farther. My defenses were done. I went to bed that night knowing man had outsmarted the invaders.
    Next morning, I got up, put on my slippers, the shade went up, and… Holy crap they struck again! This time they got to the east side lawn and just ripped it to shreds, clumps of newly grown grass all over the place. My God, these devils were merciless. Now what was I going to do? After repairing the east side lawn and shedding more tears, I was at my wits end. I went to bed that night feeling helpless. I had lost the battle. I could always just pour cement back there and make a giant barbecue out of it, put in a palapa and some tiki torches and re-create Puerto Vallarta.
    But the next morning, they were gone. No new holes. No more digging, nothing. This last Spring, the lawn grew in and was gorgeous. It’s been twelve months now and everything is lovely. I forgot all about the invisible raiders. I repeated the same routine, planted new seed, watered them dutifully during the hot, windy Santa Ana days of October and November, then woke up one beautiful morning last month, raised the shade and… holy crap they’ve returned! You can imagine the horror that I felt. This was déjà vu all over again. I called my friends, I called the local nursery. I even called the SPCA. It wasn’t raccoons they said. It was (you’re not going to believe this) skunks. Yes, polecats. They eat grubs. They love grubs. They dig holes looking for them and eat them by the thousands every fall. Only way to keep them from tearing up my lawn was to put cayenne pepper everywhere.
    So, that night, and ten dollars worth of cayenne pepper later, I put the orange colored stuff all over the place. It was a warm, fall evening, and in the middle of the night it came–skunk spray–that juice from the gland in their butt. Must have got a nose full of cayenne because he laid it on heavy and then left my wife and me to suffer all night with the windows closed and skunk stink in our nostrils. That did it. My wife said if I didn’t figure out how to keep the skunks out of the yard, she’d divorce me and move to Costa Rica.
    Well, my wife didn’t move to Costa Rica although I think there are plenty of skunks there, too. I bought a ten pound bag of Bayer Advanced Grub Control ($32.99 retail) at the nursery that guarantees to kill grubs. Put in on heavy and watered it into the lawn big time. I also went on the Internet and found out that skunks are nocturnal (duh) and hate fluorescent light. Why didn’t I think of that before? So, I went to Home Depot, bought a light fixture, installed it above the barbecue on my deck railing and left the light on all night. And you know what? No more invisible raiders, no monsters, no skunks, nada (that’s Spanish for “nothing”). It’s December now and the little stinkers have not returned. My lawn is looking fabulous and I’m a happy boy. Now if I can only get rid of that crabgrass…

  • Sarah Colvig

    It was 25 years ago when I was caretaking a gold mine in a very remote area of northern California. I was living in a small trailer with my cat. A tiny spotted skunk had somehow found a way to enter my home through the cabinets. It sprayed my cat once, but my kitty then left it alone. I was hawling water from the creek and kept it in a 5 gallon bucket for my household water. The little skunk would drink out of that bucket, share the cat food dish, and caught all the mice in the cupboards my cat didn’t have access to. I’d wake up in the middle of the night seeing kitty and skunk cautiously and politely pass each other in the narrow aisle. But I knew better than to try to domesticate it. Finally after a week, I found someone with a live trap I could borrow. I baited it with some chicken, and caught my little friend. I slowly and calmly managed to put it the trunk of my car, drove 5 miles down the road, and let it free in a new location. It never sprayed me. I live in a different pretty remote area now. I have bird feeders up, and several years ago, noticed a striped skunk in the evening coming to eat the fallen sunflower seeds. So I have to admit that I throw a few pieces of cat kibble out there for her sometimes. I’m not trying to tame her at all or make her dependent on me. But we do have a friendship and mutual respect. She waddles off in to the brush when I come out, but never feels or acts threatened. And every spring, she brings her new offspring out to show me. I do love skunks; they are beautiful intelligent animals. I wish humankind had such a good defensive non-lethal weapon.

  • Julie

    We have skunks on our property. We live in the country.
    One day there were three baby skunks following each
    other around in a circle in our yard. We could see them through the window. They did this for a long time
    and they looked pretty comical. Supposedly
    they could not see too well in the bright sunlight.
    One night I went out when it was almost dark to feed
    the barn cat and a skunk came tearing out of the barn
    and sprayed me.It was really awful. I had a
    very hard time getting rid of that smell. It was summer and I was wearing shorts and he just got my
    legs and clothes not my face thank goodness but it
    was an experience that made me want to stay in the house at night and feed the cat before dark.

  • Nadine

    I am sorry to write that I am NOT a fan of skunks. I have been out of my house since the first weekend in December, when 5 skunks decided to get out of the cold wind, and under two of my wind well covers instead. I have a photo of the skunks looking in the basement window, as I figured no one would believe me.

    It’s a long story, but the window well cover had to be broken off, to get the skunks out. Unbelievably enough the window was broken in the process, and one got in my basement. The skunks left their spray in the window wells, and you can imagine what the one did that got in my basement. It has been a battle to get rid of the horrible smell.

    We have used everything you can possibly read about for skunks, to get rid of the smell. Baking soda, peroxide, and detergent is the best mixture, but will only do so much, with such a large amount of spray. A powerful ozone machine has been used to get rid of the smell, but the smell still lingers even after that. The odor spread through the duct work, my clothes, furniture, wood, etc….the whole house. Worst of all, with my allergy to sulfur, it has been hard on my health. This has been a terrible mess, like nothing I have ever encountered.

    It’s nice that some can enjoy them as pets, but right now I see them as my enemy. I have encountered skunks over the years, but this has been horrible. It’s amazing that Nature ran this special about skunks, at the same time that I a dealing with them.

  • Elizabeth

    I grew up in a rural area, and we had outdoor cats. One evening I was sitting outside playing with some of the cats when what I thought was a kitten crawled into my lap. I didn’t pay much attention until I realized that all the cats were backing away. I then noticed that the “kitten” was actually a young skunk! That’s when the mother skunk showed up. The tail was up, and she was stamping fiercely on the concrete porch. I took off like a shot, and made it into the house without getting sprayed. Some of the cats must have tried to attack the baby skunk after I made my escape, for the house reeked of that unmistakable odor for days.

  • Randi Joy

    I have a few skunk stories. When I was a child living on a farm, my father rescued a baby skunk whose mother was killed and he became our pet. His name was Stinky and he was never de-skunked, but he never sprayed either. He was perfectly comfortable around us. One day he got sick and died on the way to the vet. My dad buried him by the side of the road, crying. As an adult, working as a wildlife biologist in the woods at night, I had my light on a skunk who stood still watching me. I was afraid my light was hurting his eyes, so I turned it off. He then charged at me, so I quickly put the light back on. I realized with the light off, he suddenly could see me and perceived me as a threat. Light on, he didn’t see me any more. I quickly walked away. Now I’m a homeowner, and a female made herself a den under our house. Then her male courtier came around and we could hear and smell them squabbling. I did not want to call Animal Control for fear they’d harm the skunks or relocate them to an unsuitable location (e.g., in another skunk’s territory). So instead we evicted them. I placed cat food by the entrance and watched. When we saw both were safely outside (usually close to midnight), we went out in the dark and plugged up the hole. We had to repeat this with three different holes and it went on for weeks. Finally they were excluded and moved on, but not before I was able to witness the male’s courtship ritual, prancing around with a largely fluffed tail. One year later, the female returned and continued scratching at the wood that now blocks the hole she used as an entrance. What a good memory. I never got sprayed by her, but my mother’s dog did. During a family holiday dinner. I called a rehabilitation center to get the right formula to de-skunk him. The smell penetrated the house and yard for weeks. In spite of the smell, I love skunks. They are adorable and very clever.

  • Kim Fleury

    (if the 1st one went thru, this is the) 2nd Great Lakes Skunk Tale – Lake Erie: We lived in a semi-rural community with a flood control pond and woods in our backyards. We shared the neighborhood with wildlife, peacefully, for the most part. Skunks were common, but their spray wasn’t, even though I often came across them in my yard at dusk. We often mistook them for cats, and sometimes our visitors would try to pet them, upon which I warned them about the “Stink Kitties.” One night, my 18-year-old son returned home from work as I was doing dishes. I saw him through the kitchen window as he casually walked up to the door, nothing unusual in his demeanor. So I was quite surprised just a second later as he shot his 6′2″ muscular frame through a barely-cracked door, slamming it shut behind him, his eyes wide as plates, face flushed and panicked. Then I smelled it, and said, “OHhhhh!” in realization, as my son moaned, “Did it get me? Did it get me?” No, it didn’t, but only because my son became the Incredible Shrinking Teen Flash moving at the speed of light the second he spotted a raised black & white tail next to the door steps. He said he often walked past that skunk previously on the way into the house, but it had always glanced at him then continued digging up insects, and this time it didn’t notice him until his hand was on the doorknob. You can bet that my son always made noise on his way up the walk after that, and wouldn’t go past a skunk until the skunk looked his way first.

  • Denise Babineau

    My husband and I moved from Los Angeles County to Carlsbad, Calif. There is a piece of land across the street from our home that is protected wildlife area (meaning no building of homes or people trespassing. Being from the city, we heard of rattlesnakes, owls, and some racoons in the area but really hadn’t experieced any the first season. One morning my husband noticed some strange pieces of dug up lawn in our newly planted backyard. Then our cats seemed to be acting sort of funny, hiding under the cars in the garage. We didn’t think too much of it all until my husband walked in on a cute little baby skunk following its mom around our yard and then later sampling the cat’s meal. Our toy fox terrier Buddy, went out to make a last outdoor visit before retiring, when he happended upon the little skunk family and momma sprayed him and gave us all a very memorable night. Buddy is more careful now when he goes outside at night.

  • Rebecca H

    Ilive in southern Oregon and have a little chicken farm which seems to bring in the skunks. One night I heard a noise and went out to investigate. There in my flower bed was the cutest baby skunks, I did not see the mother and with the little ones just standing there I picked them up and petted them. One was very freindly and the other probably a male had attitude. I got some cute pictures holding them. I than watched them amble off into the night. They returned several nights in a row with their mother and was fun to watch. They were about 3 weeks old and did puff… I could smell it on my cloths afterwards…. Loved the program on pbs….

  • Paul Hangartner

    I saw a letter from my grandpa as he wrote to his first cousin when He was 10 years old”How many skunks did you get this year. I got 12. I got them pinned up in the corn crib”.I don’t know how my Grampa would catch them,but my dad told me if you can pick them up by the tail they cant spray you. If they get their hind legs on something they can hunch their back and blind you.

  • Kim Fleury

    3rd Skunk Tale – Lake Ontario: I had an errand to run on unlit country roads one very blustery autumn night. I kept mistaking blowing leaves and trash for animals running into the road, frequently braking on the way to my destination and again as I returned homeward. The leaves and trash were just bouncing so strangely that night, not blowing across the road, but bounding and leaping, like when headlights flash off an animal’s fur as it’s running in the road, and all you see is that shimmery little patch that’s reflecting the light. I felt like a Nervous Nellie, braking for blowing leaves, so I told myself to get a grip, if I saw another silvery shimmer bouncing along the road, it was just a leaf, not animal fur, so there’d be no need to brake. That turned out to be tragic for a young skunk, and I still feel terrible about it. The white stripe on his tail was bounding along the road, looking just like each blowing leaf did in that strong, blustery wind. Only too late was I able to make out his silhouette and the full stripe along his back. By then, he was full in my headlights and it was too late to brake. I was too cowardly to even go back to put him out of his misery if needed, because I knew I’d never get the smell out of my car if I approached him. If it were any other animal, I would have put on the hazard lights and pulled over. I didn’t have the heater running, so there was no chance of the scent getting dispersed into the car, although when I arrived home and got out, there was a distinct odor emanating from the undercarriage. That odor remained for weeks, through a few car washes, but never seeped to the interior. But that poor little skunk! I’m heartbroken that I made the fatal decision to assume every silvery shimmer on the road was no more than a blowing leaf.

  • Nancy

    My husband and I used to play badminton with our two sons after supper in summer. Frequently at about dusk, just before we would quit, a mother skunk and her babies would emerge from under a shed on the property next to ours, squeeze through the fence, cross our yard, squeeze through another fence, and disappear into the woods to look for their supper. We would stand very still, and they would pass close to us, the mother skunk in the lead and her babies toddling along in a line behind her, looking like a scene from a Disney movie. One night we had already stopped play and were heading in when the skunk family came out. The boys were supposed to be going to take their bath, but when I remembered I had to go take the flag down off the front porch, they took the opportunity to steal outside behind me for one last dash around the yard. The mother skunk had chosen that night to turn and come along the front of our house instead of passing through the fence. When I stepped out onto the porch and saw her, I quickly stopped and my boys bump-bumped into my back. She at the same time saw me and stopped quickly, with her babies bump-bump-bumping into her tail!

  • Marilyn

    1st encounter: I was asleep in bed and my husband had let the dog outside in the middle of the night. Well, when my husband let the dog back in I was awakened to an awful smell. I was wearing a mask for sleep apnea even. It didn’t smell skunk-like. My dog had gotten sprayed. He’s a Yorkie. I threw him in the tub and bathed him right away.

    2nd experience: Since we had that experience above we’ve taken a flashlight out at night, holding the dog, looking to make sure the yard is clear. As I was walking towards the end of the yard and came around a bush there were 2 skunks looking right at me3-4 feet away. At first I was nervous but they didn’t seem that scared of me and just slowly scampered off. My dog didn’t bark and just watched. Normally my dog would be caring on!

    We’ve had more than these encounters, but I’ll stop here. I have found that skunks are “cool”! I’m not as afraid as I used to be.

    Thanks for the show about skunks. I learned things I didn’t know and truly enjoyed it.

  • Bill Duckwall

    We were living in San Clemente, California. It stayed warm enough there that usually we left a sliding glass door opened a few inches for the cat to go in and out. One winter my wife baked many small loaves of pumpkin bread to give to our relatives at the upcoming Christmas dinner. She wrapped them in plastic wrap, and left them stacked like cordwood in the floor. The next morning she was annoyed to find that our cat had clawed open three of the loaves, and nibbled off the ends. Disgustedly she tossed one of the nibbled loaves into the cat’s dish, muttering something about what a weird cat we had. Tellingly, Riffy looked up at her with an unmistakable “are-you-out-of-your-mind” look. Riffy was clearly apalled by the thought of eating pumpkin bread.

    Christmas came. We unwrapped presents at home, and then hurriedly packed up and drove 50 miles north to spend the rest of the day with my wife’s family in Long Beach.

    The following morning, about half an hour before dawn, I awoke to the sound of the cat rustling around in the left-over wrapping papers downstairs in the living room. I felt around with my foot, and discovered that our cat Riffy was soundly sleeping on the foot of the bed. That could mean only one thing – the pesky neighbor’s cat was downstairs. I roused myself, and stealthily headed down the stairs, intending the turn on the lights suddenly and then holler and generally scare the bejesus out of him. I reached the foot of the stairs, turned to face the living room, and flipped the switch. The “cat” was black, with attractive white racing stripes, and a huge fluffy tail. I was stunned – the bejesus totally scared out of me – there was a skunk in my living room, shuffling around under the Christmas tree. I feared the worst, but the little fellow just made a bee line back through the kitchen and through the sliding door, to the back yard. He didn’t leave the slightest hint of odor behind.

  • Dakota Clark

    Many years ago, 1972 to 1976, I used to buy milk from Claravale Guernsey Farm, at that time, a family owned raw milk dairy in Monte Sereno, a small community between Los Gatos and Saratoga, near San Jose, CA.

    Mr. and Mrs. Peak were the owners, and they had an honor system. Customers picked up raw milk dairy products, and wrote down what they took. At the end of the month, you added up your milk total, and went to the farmhouse to pay your bill. Their milk, and cream were wonderful.

    While paying my bill one day, I struck up a conversation with Mrs. Peak. While we were talking, I felt a cat rubbing against the back of my right leg and reached down to pet it. Mrs. Peak told me to remain very still, because ‘Alice’ had decided to visit and say hello to me.

    I looked down and was somewhat startled to see that Alice was a skunk, and it was she who was rubbing against my leg. Alice looked up at me with sparkling eyes. It was as if she was smiling at me.

    Mrs. Peak slipped a small dog biscuit out the screen door and gave it to me so I could give Alice a little treat. Alice gladly accepted the treat and trotted off to her burrow beneath the outhouse.

    Mrs. Peak explained that the outhouse had been filled in many years ago, and due to the shady location, they used the structure to store and age cheese. A few years earlier, Alice decided to burrow under the old outhouse and make that one of her homes. She had her babies there, and Mrs. Peak said it was always a springtime joy to see two to six baby skunks. Alice never smelled, unless she had to spray something in self defense.

    By the way, the real terror in the Peaks’ barnyard were a couple of Muscovy ducks that would chase nearly anyone and nip at the back of your legs.

    Other than that, all the ducks, geese, chickens, cats, dogs, cows, and Alice the skunk, lived harmoniously on Mr. and Mrs. Peak’s farm.

    The program about skunks was great. My wife and I enjoyed it very much.

  • Floyd J Hidalgo Jr

    My sister and her husband live on a nice spread of land available to the occasional wild criter. One day a skunk they had known was hanging around was spotted by the kids ambling far across in the back field. My sister got a bb gun, but she was creeping so slowly foward the skunk would have been long gone before anything happened. But no one thought of leashing my dad’s feisty chihuaha-pomeranian mutt Lucky. Once old hardhead realized a ’stranger’ was in the field, he rocketed off to imminent doom. Once the skunk realized ‘knuckleheaded dog at high noon’ Lucky got a low-grade stun-shot — enough to stop drop and slink back where he came. (Lucky was always good at finding the stinkiest spot in an area) As usual, I administered the cleansing. Fortunately, despite my dad’s anxieties, the dosage was quite low. A soap and lemon juice bath, and a night in solitary sobered him up (and brought us much relief)
    I really loved the spotted skunk’s handstand! I read about Mr. Dragoo’s ’special calling’ in Smithsonian a while back. Glad to finally see “Skunk Man” in action!

  • Frank Greene

    Several years ago, we moved to Rural Tennessee from Chicago, bring with us our completely Metropolitan cat. Several days after our arrival we were sitting on our front porch enjoying the evening when this big black and white no-it-wasn’t-a-cat cat waddled through the yard.

    “Oh, look!” said our cat. “A new playmate!” and, before we could stop her, charged off the porch and full face into the spray. I jumped off the porch and ran into the yard to rescue the cat who was in convulsions.

    First lesson of skunks: never assume there is just one of them. In the dark, I litarally tripped over a second skunk who responded by letting me have it from waist to knees.

    We had already established contact with a local vet, so my wife rushed in the house, called him, and then we climbed in her car and rushed the cat to his clinic.

    He gave the cat a full workup, transfusion, sponge bath with some anti stink additive, drops for the eyes and then said she should be kept overnight for observation. “Wait a minute,” I said, standing there in reeking pants and throughly soaked shirt where I had been holding the cat, “what do I do about me?”

    He waved his hand and said, “Oh, wash yourself down in tomato juice.”

    So it is now 11:00 at night and I’m standing in the check out line at a local grocery store with six #10 cans of tomato juice. There is a teen age girl at the cash register very delicately wrinking her nose. She looks at me and says “do you smell skunk?”, which turned the entire evening into high comedy.

    In retrospect, two lessons learned: first, if you make an emergency visit to the vet, ride in the back of an open pick up truck and not the front seat your wife’s prized car. The interior stank for four months. Second: the stupid feline never did learn that stripped cats are not going to be her friend. She had three more encounters with them before she finally died.

    On the plus side, we now have a family of skunks living under our front porch (”hey, smell this place. They must really like skunks here.”) In general, we leave them alone and they leave us alone, but we put out food and water and they will come and eat while we sit about ten feet away.

  • K. Fontenot

    Hit a skunk with a car at night, car stunk for a week, though inside, smell was noticeable for 3 months

  • B. Wiskowski

    My dad brought home a skunk when I was a little girl. Unfortunately we kept it in a cage outside and it was stolen. Many, many years later I told my husband I wanted a pet skunk. I have had my sweet Lily Rose for two years now. I don’t know what life would be like without her. I have the utmost admiration for all the wonderful people like Deb from Skunk Haven and the everyone here in Florida with Florida Skunk Rescue. The education they provide is very valuable. People need to know that skunks are not vicious rabid animals, that most of the time they will run from you rather than spray. I do feel though that more needs to be said about Aspen Skunk Rabies Research and the money they are trying to raise through donations and to one day hopefully have a rabies vaccine for our babies and make it so they can be legal in all States. No more innocent skunks should die because they mistaken bite the hand that feeds them. Please visit the Aspen Skunk Rabies Reseach website and donate today. If every skunk owner donated at least $1 for each skunk they owned I’m sure we would on our way to having this important research take place.

  • Weick

    For the past month or so we had one to visit our chicken yard eating the eggs that we did not pick up and our dog covered with it’s spray. This past Saturday the 25th of Jan we had one out in our yard during the day (that not normal). At first we thought it was a baby because it was just laying on the ground (at the time we thought) cleaning itself. My mom took charge and went out to take a better look. It was hurt. She thought it got struck by a car or one of the many 18wheelers that come down the road. We called the vet to put it down because, we did not think it would recover. That night our front porch or the dog did not get sprayed and the chickens did not act up around dusk. Maybe our problem with a skunk is over with or until the next one finds the place.

  • Kevin

    This story happen in June, 2008 at dusk. My sister and I went on a walk about 7:30pm and we came up over a hill and saw a skunk running into the woods so we thought we would see what it was doing. Then we stoped at the edge of the woods and saw the skunk stop. Kellie sayed wonder what it is doing? Then we both had a flashlight and looked down and saw baby skunks there were about 4 little ones. One of the little ones came out then my sister said “Oh how cute” then she went to pet it. He turned aroud lift its tale and gased my sis. shoe. She ran of and said it sprayed me. I thought how come I can’t smell anything. Shortly after that I smelled it. So now that we see a skunk we will not follow it into the woods.

  • Scott Black

    I was a Campground Host in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona Arizona. One night a camper came and began to set up camp when a skunk climbed into his brand new Cadillac. He had left the doors open while getting things out for his camp. The skunk was attracted to the chips and other goodies that the kids had been eating on the way to the campground. The man asked me (the camp host)to remove the skunk from the car. I told him that “I don’t do skunks” and to leave it alone and it will eventually leave and go on it’s way. But he decided to try to speed things up and got his fishing pole and started poking the skunk! Needless to say, it sprayed inside the car and then climbed up under the dash and sprayed again… Well, the end result was that the skunk did finally leave but the car had to be towed because it smelled so bad. I don’t know if the insurance paid for the car or not. But now the new Cadillac had become a “lemon” and had deprecieated a great deal!

  • Mike Grube

    Have had as many as seven skunks around shop, but two only show now. I opened shop door three inches to let swamp cooler air escape while working in office at night. I was at desk and happened to see something move out of corner of my eye. It was a half grown skunk that had crawled under the door and was checking out the shop. I froze while it sniffed my boots and checked out the trash can and every thing in the office before wandering back out into the shop and out side. I was not scared of it, but didn’t want to scare it so it sprayed the office.
    About the same time another one got in the shop and I didn’t know it when I went home. The next day when I opened the door this skunk went running out. It had tried to dig it’s way out through the steel wall in eight places during the night leaving a pile of fiberglass insulatation at each point. Now I plan to add vents to the building so they can’t get in.
    I feed about thirty stray cats and the skunks come eat with them. Once they got used to seeing me feed the cats they don’t bother to raise the tail when when I pour out the food. Some times they are waiting when I come out the door and are close enough I could reach out and touch them. But I don’t try. My friends say I should shoot them, but I say live and let live. They are fun to watch. Sometimes the cats and skunks get in to it a little and get sprayed which comes into the shop through the swamp cooler. Makes it a little rough to work until it clears. I looked into having one as a pet, but New Mexico will take them and kill them. Apparently it’s quite complicated and no vets here will touch them. Plus they tear up a lot of stuff. I have enough cats at home and at the shop so the only skunk pets will be the wild ones that come to dinner. According to the web they eat tons of insects/ mice for farmers saving crop damage.
    I didn’t realize until I was doing reasearch on the net that skunks were banned in almost all states and people breed skunks. I assume for fur,as I never heard of skunk burgers.
    I feel they are badly misunderstood and have a bad reputation for fast on the trigger. But like everything else they are trying to survive in this ever crowded world.

  • Terry

    We drink the skunk juice!!! It has been in the Cree culture for centuries. We mix a little water with the stinky juice, and voila, you have natures version of Buckley’s, or was it always the other way around? Anyway, it really works and I wish some doctor or some biochemist would take another look at skunks for their medicinal properties. Everything in nature is not really bad for us, and in fact, we found our most important medicines and cures in most unusual places.

  • Linda Camp

    I have had many encounters with the little darlings, they are very personable. Last fall, one was sleeping in the dog house. It woke up and stretched and yawned. As I talked to it, it started to rub on the side of the house like a cat would, then it came over to me and watched me talking to it. Finally it went back into the doghouse and curled up to go to sleep again. What a wonderful experience!

  • dean norman

    There is a true story told in cartoons about a kid who nursed an injured skunk. See website and click on the May2008 story.

  • James Litvany

    My dog got sprayed by a skunk once and instead of using tomato juice, there is a very simple remedy to neutralize the skunk smell. Mix 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 teaspoon liquid shampoo, and 1/4 cup baking soda. I got my dog wet and applied the skunk smell remedy then rinsed him. Because the skunk smell oil is a thiol it did not dissolve the smell but only neutralized it.

  • Donald Benchoff

    I used to feed the skunks peanuts, and the skunks would come around every night, sometimes as many as 4 or 5. I would watch them from a distance of 8-10 feet away. One night, I went outside to watch the skunks and I had a sandwich in my hand. I got down on my haunches to better observe them and continued to munch on my sandwich. A big striped skunk can ambling over, placed his paws on my thighs and continued to finish my sandwich. My adrenalin was really going, by I let him finish his meal. What an experience!! I really love skunks.

  • Mary Andrews

    I live in a rural area of New Mexico, between Espanola and Santa Fe, that is a favorite place for skunks. My first encounter was about 5 years ago when I was feeding a feral cat and her kittens. I realized by leaving the dry food out, I was also feeding a large skunk. Remedy was to remove the food. Next encounter was a year later when I acquired a puppy. Buddy was about 5 months old when he encountered his first skunk, which sprayed him and drove Buddy whimpering up the back steps. A smelly pup to be sure. He had numerous baths of vinegar before he was tolerable. Each year since, Buddy has had encounters with skunk in our yard. The outcome has been disasterous for Buddy and, unfortunately, fatal for the last two trespassers. I have found the skunk entrance to the yard and will be repairing to keep the curious skunks out and alive. We have been deterred on numerous walks due to encounters on the river road. The de-skunking formula of peroxide, baking soda, & liquid dish soap is the absolute best but rubber gloves are a must. Also, don’t wet your animal prior to applying the mixture; the oil in the musk breaks down better when the mixture is applied to a dry coat. It’s also a good idea to keep saline solution on hand if you have to rise your pets eyes. If your pet has been sprayed around its mouth or has killed the skunk, rinse as best as possible with water. I give my dog some fat free cottage cheese which helps settle his stomach. I think skunks are quite pretty but I prefer to watch from a distance. This may sound strange, but while watching your program Buddy looked up at the television, cocked his head as if he knew just what that black & white critter was and then looked over at me. I reminded him to “leave it!!”

  • Gail Curless

    The skunk man is actually my husband. He has always had an affectionate relationship with them. As a teenager, he and a buddy would go skunk hunting on spring and summer nights in the Kootenai River valley. They would take turns catching baby skunks by grabbing them by the tail and putting them into a cardboard box. They would then take them home, descent them and take them to Spokane to sell for pets. My husband, Randy, bought his first pick up with skunk money. They went out of business when Washington passed a law against keeping skunks as pets.
    People still come to him to have their pet skunks descented. Once when our daughter was small, we went to the circus after a helper had accidentally punctured a scent gland on a skunk. The oil had covered my husband’s hand. After washing his hand in everything we could think of we were off to the circus. We thought we were fine, until the muggy evening started to bring out the odor. People around us started sniffing and looking for the skunk. The crowd decided that a skunk must have sprayed the grass on that spot. They decided in mass to move to the other side of the tent. We moved with them, and all agreed that the smell was much better over there.

  • Rita Knisely

    When I was a little girl, we lived beside a vet and I played with their daughter. Someone had brought in a litter of baby skunks to have their stink glands removed. From that day, I had wanted a pet skunk, but settled for a kitten/cat. As an adult, I feed stray cats so I always have skunks, groundhogs, and opossums in our backyard. I do put out scraps of veggies for them. One day I was trying to go out my back door to feed the stray cat and I thought there was a cat in a brown bag we had on the porch. Cats like bags..right? I called “kitty” “kitty”..and saw the stripe on it’s back. Need less to say, I went back into the house. I learned that day skunks are not afraid of humans. Also, I have a bird feeder and I learned I had better bring in my clothes from the outside lines before dark or I’ll meet up with a skunk. They are beautiful little creatures and are welcome in my yard anytime.

  • DeWayne Knisely

    When my husband was a teenager, back in the 60’s, he and his friends went to this small soda shop where all the “kids” got together. One day a car back fired outside and his friend had a bottle of skunk spray in his pocket. While all the other kids were outside checking out the car noise, he threw this “stinky” spray around the room and ran outside. When ever everyone returned inside, they all started yelling…..oh my gosh…a skunk is in there. I know…that was so bad of him. :-)

  • Julie Lochow

    While volunteering at a NY prison on a hot summer evening, I saw an amazing “Skunk Tale.” Approaching the Visitors’ Center, I saw, through the window, several Corrections Officers backing up with their hands raised. Fearing some kind of breakout, I peaked carefully through a corner of the window. Standing in the middle of the room, stomping and turning slowly with tail raised, was the biggest skunk I’ve ever seen. At least a dozen guards and visitors were plastered against the walls. Hurrying to the Security Gate, I told a C.O. — who knew “all about Charlie, the legendary skunk.” Armed with “Twinkies” we returned to the scene — Charlie was gently encouraged out the open door by tossed bits of goodies. The doors quickly closed to loud cheers and shouting! Charlie waddled off to eat from the picnic trash another day.

  • Julie Lochow

    A Michigan friend had a pet skunk (brown and white) named Petunia who often spent the evenings watching TV with her three children. At some point Petunia would go under their large ottoman. Petunia seemed to be spending more and more time under the ottoman. When the weekend came, the family move the ottoman to vacuum and discovered that Petunia had clawwed her way through the floor to the crawl space, and had been having adventures outside the house — always returning for snack time!

  • Gary Chiasson

    My family and I were just leaving for a camping trip to Maine. It was around 5:30 in the morning and we were on our way to meet my brother to convoy from NH to Moosehead lake.

    We were about a 1/2 mile from home when I saw a skunk wandering aimlessly in the road, apparently arriving there from a recent garbage can meal. The skunk had a yogurt cup stuck on it’s head and could not see.

    To my wife’s amazement, I stopped the car and started to get out. She said we are NOT riding 6 hours to Maine with you smelling like a skunk! But common sense lost out and I decided that I needed to save the skunk from being road kill. I stepped up to the skunk which had stopped when it heard me approach. I slowly reached down and grabbed the yogurt container and gave it a yank, the skunk looked straight into my eyes for about 2 seconds, then we both ran in opposite directions. All was good.

  • beth kryger

    When growing up in a suburb of Detroit in the early sixties, my mother was good friends with two women that were of the Iroquois Nation. The elder of the women was over a hundred years old and I remember being at her house the day she got a birthday card from President Kennedy. She had a pet parakeet that could say some words in her native language such as ‘do da’ which I was told meant “grandmother”. They also kept a pet skunk; a wild one that had been tamed. I used to go over to their house and play with this skunk – it seemed gentle and friendly like a cat. I remember that it was pretty smart and able to reach up to the handle of the screen door to get in or out. It’s funny that I thought my experience was rather unique until watching that wonderful PBS show and reading all these comments!

  • Sandra Waldrip

    Mexican Standoff: My first tale is of ambling down a trail on horseback in Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. My horse heard a noise in the woods and stopped to listen. I followed his line of sight and discovered a skunk shuffling through the leaves and headed our way. We stayed very still while the little skunk, intent on keeping an appointment somewhere, emerged right in front of of us in the middle of the trail. He suddelnly realized that we were blocking his way, and stopped while we each tried to think of the best way out of the situation. After a minute, he made a detour around us through the woods and hurried on down the trail. I called back to some riders that he was coming and they stopped until he reached the point he was heading for and continued down a hill through the woods.
    Tale #2: Years ago some friends of mine in Michigan bought and old farmhouse and began restoration. Unfortunately, some skunks moved in under the house, so the new homeowner decided to use a shotgun to scare them off. Not so good! The entire house was dosed from the scared skunks, and the couple’s wedding clothes were inside at the time. Not the cologne they were thinking of using, I am sure.
    Tale #3: Some years back, my dog Sugar came in the house one day and went to sleep on the sofa. After a while I realized there was a horrible odor somehwere–it was so strong I did not at first realize that it was heavy duty skunk. Luckily, I found the same recipe given on the program in a homesteader’s magazine. IT WORKS! I have deskunked any number of dogs since. Our present dog Lucky got heavily sprayed the minute he arrived in Tennessee with my brother in law. I used this recipe and he slept in our room that very night fresh as a daisy.
    Tale #4: I arrived with my daughter for an orthodontic appointment in the middle of a small city only to find the doors wide open and the entire office very fragrant with skunk. the receptionist told us that apparently a skunk was very close to the central A/C unit when it kicked on, scaring the poor critter and causing him to spray the air intake. Whew! Glad I didn’t have work there all day!

  • karen mcdonald

    I have 2 skunk stories. My friend had a horse stable and her son often took his car there to work on it after dark. The one evening he was stumbling his way around the barn looking for the light switch and the cats kept getting under his feet, there were several barn cats at the time. Eventually he got the lights on and the cat he had been shoving aside with his foot turned out to be a skunk. It didn’t react to him other than just move when pushed and it sat under a chair for a while watching him, before it started eating the cat food from the bowl, along side the cats. Apparently it stayed in the barn for most of the summer, then disappeared for over a year, only to show up again two summers later.
    My other tale is my story. I delivered papers in a small town, and we often had skunks crosss our path. One early morning I was running up a driveway only to notice a large skunk running up the driveway along side me. We looked at each other and he deaked under a motorhome and I cleared a hedge to the porch where I was headed. As I started back down the driveway at a run again, the skunk also reappeared, the two of us ran across the road together. He turned right and I turned left on the other side. My daughter in law was driving the car up the road to meet me and said that had been a big cat. I was telling her that it was a skunk and as I headed across a lawn to the next house I tripped over a skunk that was just sitting there. It got tangled up in my feet and we ended up in a heap at the bottom of the incline. For some reason it didn’t spray me, and it just took off when it was able to get up. About 10 minutes further down the road, I was now driving and i was goung to toss a paper on a porch, and standing on it was a huge skunk. As I pulled up along side it and rolled down my window it actually lifted it’s tail at me. Needless to say those people didn’t get their paper that night as I had enough of skunks for one evening.

  • PamSnell

    My husband and I loved watching the show! Over 20 years ago Lovie, our brown and white skunk was a wonderful pet. I got her when she was about 6 weeks old – just weaned. I took a week off from work to start to adapt her to being awake days and sleeping nights. I was called in to work and brought her with me – a little brown and white striped fuzz ball curled up in my smock pocket. The whole store crowded around when I took her out to show her off!
    When she grew up. she had a “nest” in the bathroom but had the run of the house when we were home.
    We put baby locks on all the cabinet doors because she was always looking for food. We couldn’t have a wastebasket or plant on the floor because she would empty them looking for grubs in the dirt of the plants and anything edible in the trash. Sound inconvenient? It was a small price to pay for the loveable, curious, fun pet that she was!
    On the show, we recognized so many actions; the stomp, the scoot back, the roll and crunch of eating hornets and especially the familiar waddle.
    We live in Massachusetts and can no longer leaglly own a skunk. Maybe we’ll retire to Ohio!

  • William Minkler

    When I was ten or eleven years old, I had the habit to set snap traps–sorry I didn’t know any different– anyway, this one day I had a very angary skunk in my trap. I asked my neighbor how I could get this skunk out of the trap without it spraying on me and he told me to cut a long willow pole with a forked end to push his tail down so that it wouldn’t spray so I found one about ten feet long. I proceeded to inch my way closer and I got to within twelve feet when it got me right between the eyes. Talk about burn. It felt like burning charcoal brikets placed in my eyes. To sum up, I took five baths,Shampoos and a rubdown with olive oil to no avail. I still smelt like a skunk. Sad to say, I can’t to this day smell a skunk. Thank you for a wonderful enjoyable program on skunks.

  • Cyndie Chen

    My brother and his wife have 4 cats and multiple self-feeders scattered throughout the house. They woke up one night to the sound of something eating from the feeder in the bedroom….. and it was not a kitty! They both wear glasses, so it was even more unnerving to hear strange crunching noises when you can’t see! Working up their courage, they flipped on the lights to reveal a full-grown skunk eating from their cat feeder. It nonchalantly looked over and proceeded to saunter to the only exit available at night – through the cat door into the garage….. at the other end of the house. It clearly knew exactly where to go! Now the cat door in the garage gets shut at night so there are no “new” kitties!!

  • Ken Staff

    My mother has many cats that are fed outside on her farm. Often wild animals will show up at night to share the food. Mom simply put out more food. An old overstuffed chair had been left out for quit some time, and several cats slept on it. Eventually we decided to take the chair to the dump. While loading it on the truck, we heard strange noises from inside the chair. I turned the chair on it’s side, and tore the fabric covering the bottom. To my surprise, a full grown striped skunk peeked through the tear. We gently took the chair off of the truck, and set it on the ground. I carefully pulled away more of the fabric, and moved back to allow the skunk to get out. After a few seconds, the largest raccoon I have ever seen, came out from the chair, and ran off in the pasture. Mom and I were both amazed that the two of them were in there together. A moment later, a full grown possum came out. We simply couldn’t believe it. When the skunk finally came out, I finished removing the fabric, to make sure there were no other animals inside. We loaded the chair and took it to the dump, but couldn’t help feeling guilty. Counting the cats, it had been “home” to four species.

  • Megan Leonelli

    I used to have a dog, her name was Bonita, now she has a home somewhere else with a loving owner.
    My mom and step dad play ultimate Frisbee and one day we took our brown Labrador. Of course, I believe all dogs get into trouble eventually, but this story made anyone who listened to it laugh.
    I was playing with one of my Best friends, Jenni. We were playing in sand on the side of the field. Somebody shouted to me since my step dad was in the bathroom and my mom was playing on the field. I looked up and saw that the person who shouted to me was Al, a fellow ultimate player. I got up and so did Jenni. Al told us that there was a skunk and my dog was off her leash. My dog was running straight for the skunk. I didn’t want to go too near the skunk because I hadn’t wanted to be sprayed. Jenni and I were calling for my dog after she disappeared into the trees. the skunk had run off somewhere, but still, I was sure it was in the area. Finally, after a while, Bonita showed up. I was about to pet her when a sharp, stinky smell rose up from her now sprayed pelt. My dog had been sprayed by a skunk. My mom had to run to the store and buy many cans of tomato juice. We bathed Bonita there at the fields. Obviously, she wasn’t going to get the smell completely off for at least two days. And a daily lesson for all is, if you have a curious dog, make sure it’s leash is stable. :)

  • Heather Mitchell

    I thoroughly enjoyed this PBS special on skunks! It was entertaining and very informative. I especially enjoyed the music choices associated with each segment of the show. Very well done! I am looking forward to more delightful nature programs. Thank you!

  • Meredith Witte

    I loved the PBS show on skunks & I have had 2 skunks as pets. Dante named after Dante Gabriel Rossetti (the artist) & Bertie or Albert, after King Edward VII. They both required bottle feeding & they bonded very easily at that point. They both loved being indoors and felt very protected inside. Dante, my first skunk, was very demanding of my attention & even insisted that he sleep in my bed! He could even crawl his way up to get into bed. They each lived approximately 6-1/2 years, which is a short life span. They preferred cat food over dog food & Dante’s favorite food was fresh broccoli & Bertie preferred it cooked. Both of these skunks I bought & licensed here in Mich. This farm has long since been out of business so I would have to go to Ohio if I wanted another one. Maybe one day I will get another skunk.

  • Vancouver, B.C

    One night, two skunks where (what seemed to be) fighting in front of my door. I decided to flick my front porch lights on & off and kick my door…..Big mistake. Needless to say, they left me a less than delightful gift on my front door and throughout my house.

  • Robert

    I lived in the Trinity mountains in Northern California for a year in 1997. I had 2 manx kittens so I left cat food and water by the back sliding glass door for them because they loved to explore outside at night. Soon I saw a skunk eating the food and watched her through the glass. Every night at 11 pm she came back so I sat there one night on the steps with the food in front of me and she came without hesitation and ate at my feet. She had never raised her tail to me so I kept doing it. Ome night at midnight there was a knocking at on the slidiing glass door and it was a big old Racoon looking in and it ws clear it was asking for food as well. I opened the door and it moved down the steps I came out and fed it. So skunk at 11 and racoon at midnight. Then the skunk stopped coming. I waited a few nights and was sad she was gone. About 2 months later skunk came back with her 6 babies. Seeing them was so delightful to me and I rushed out the door with food for them. One of the babies played with my manx and they became great friends. I tried to see if I could get them to spray me. They seemed so used to me I wondered if they would if I scared them. So one night when they came I jumped out of the door and threw the food in front of me,and they all just came and ate ate my feet again.

    I didn’t believe what people had told me about them being wild and spray people if they got close. They had accepted me and it was fantastic to have all 7 each night for dinner. They stayed about 20 minutes each night. All of the babies had different personalities from calm and loving to feisty and playful. The mother skunk was girly and sweet. Soon the racoon began comong and knocking as soon as the skunks had left.

    I had just moved to the mountains to recover from an illness so the skunks and racoon made my recovery pleasant. City people don’t believe my skunk story, my new wife didn’t beleive it until we watched the skunk show tonight.

    Thank you PBS for proving that I wasn’t telling a made up story.

  • Linda Wraxall

    I had to trap a new family of feral cats in my back yard last spring and put out a trap loaned to me overnight. The next morning I discovered that I had trapped a young skunk. None of us, kittens, cats, skunk or me, were happy about that! I solved my dilemma by carefully opening the trap door and inserting a flowerpot that was tall enough to hold it open for the skunk to get out. However I don’t think skunks have very good eyesight as it took him half an hour to find his way out. When I saw him leave, I was able to feed the kitties and begin my day.

  • dru clarke

    My husband was pulling a trailer of horses to a trainer and was driving on a remote gravel road. Just ahead he saw a line of black and white wobbling across the road. When he got closer, he realized it was a mother striped skunk attempting to herd her litter of babies (kits?) from one side to the other. She would succeed in getting four or five across when one of them skittered back to the side they had come from to be with those who remained ‘uncrossed.’ This went on for over twenty minutes. She finally got all of them herded across after much effort and patience. My husband was totally charmed by them. On another occasion, I was still in bed waiting for my first cup of coffee that my husband got up to make for both of us when I heard a string of expletives coming from him. He had let the cats in for their breakfast and with them was a young skunk who had decided he/she needed breakfast as well. With some encouragement from a lightly pushed broom, he managed to convince the skunk to wait outside for his/her feline friends. Evidently cats and skunks get along rather well.

  • Shirley Fallin

    My dog cornered a mother skunk and four babies. My sisters-in-law had wanted a skunk for a pet, so my husband and father-in-law tried to catch the babies. Both of them were sprayed liberaly. When the vet was contacted about having them de-skunked, he said it was a waste of time at the moment unless we could wean them. They were just little babies. So the job of weaning them fell to me. Every evening I would approach the cage they were in, sure that this was going to be the time I got sprayed. I would stick my hand down in the cage with a low bowl of milk, grab one by the neck and stick his nose in the milk. While that one was licking the milk off his face, I’d grab the next one, and on until all were licking. Every evening I expected the worse. Finally they went on to eating solid food. I named them Eeny, Meenie, Miney, because there weren’t going to be no Moe. But one little skunk would rear back on his back legs and start patting the cage when he saw me coming, and I renamed him Thumper. Finally we called the Vet again, and this time he said he wouldn’t operate because it was dog days. I couldn’t set them free because they were just little babies, my husband wanted to shoot them, and I decided to put an ad in the paper. The phone rang every ten minutes it seemed. I gave them to the first three, and they would come get them with a large box and ask me to put them in the box. So I picked the little skunk up (facing me) and put it in the box. I hope all went well with them and their new owners, because they were so cute. I wished afterwards that I had kept Thumper.

  • Sylvia Lanza

    I live in the city of Boston, and surprisingly we have an amazing variety of wildlife. We have had a skunk who owned the sidewalk. He would amble down it, making the rounds of the garbage cans. We have also had a mother with kits who would come up on the porch and beg cat food.

    But the most amusing skunk story is the interaction between a skunk and a racoon on our back porch. The porch is next to the roof of our garage, and there are quite a few steps to the driveway. A skunk was dining on cat crunchies, and a racoon bound up the stairs & startled the skunk. The skunk became alarmed and began the tail-raise, and foot stamping & turning back and forth. I was watching from the screen door & thought “The only loser in this battle is me”. We have a squeeky screen door, so I opened it a crack, and the racoon leapt onto the railing & then to the garage roof. Instantly, the skunk calmed down and ambled, not ran, down the stairs as if nothing had happened. I’d love to have a pet skunk if it were permitted in my state.

  • Debby Herfort

    As I was taking my morning walk down at the local beach several years ago, the gatekeeper said a skunk was running in and around the parking lot and beach area. Apparently, it’s head was stuck inside a yogurt plastic cup and could not see.

    Other beachgoers thought it was funny, but I was concerned the skunk would be run over. Eventually I cornered the animal and threw my windbreaker over the it. I was able to yank the plastic and styrofoam cup and collar off of its head.

    It seem blinded by the daylight but slowly ambled off. It glanced back at me and I like to think it was thanking me…

  • Lori

    When I was about 6 or 7 years old we lived in Palos Verdes Estates, CA and there was just a few homes scattered about and lots of farming fields etc. I was playing at the local Jr high school and was all alone when I spotted a mother skunk with 3 tiny babies running along the edge of the playing field. Well being the tomboy I was and a serious catcher of all types of animals, I gave chase because I was thinking I could catch one of those tiny babies? (OK it was a stupid idea but I was only 6 or 7 at the time!) Anyway they ran down the edge of the sidewalk with me rite on their heels and when they got to a storm drain they ducked inside. I got to the storm drain opening and laid down to look inside to see if the babies were in there and all I saw was 4 butts coming straight at my face! I got a quadruple whammy rite in the face with my eyes wide open and I will tell you that nothing in my life has ever compared to the pain, it was like getting sprayed in the eyes with acid, I was in so much pain I didnt even notice the smell.
    Well all I could do was head home which was only a few blocks but I kept having to stop because I had times where the pain was so intense in my eyes I actually couldnt see for short periods. When I finaly got home I know better than to just go in the house so I rang the doorbell. To this day (I am in my 40’s now) my parents love to tell the story of how when they opened the front door all they could see was this green stink cloud that resembled their daughter standing on the front porch. My poor dad had the duty of bathing me to try to get rid of the smell and they burned my clothes. When I was asked why on earth I gave chase to SKUNKS, I replied that I didnt know that tiny babies could spray. Well I can attest first hand that even when they are just a few ounces in size, they pack a fully loaded gun!!

  • Jenny

    In July, 2008 we walked in the house with arm fulls of camping gear after returning home from a 4 day camping trip. The entire house smelled like skunk! Two babies were trapped in the window well right next to the air intake for our central air conditioner. The trapper came and removed them and set a trap for the Mother. Two days later he caught her. She also stunk up the yard. We were relieved the problem had been resolved (so we thought). Four days later, our very friendly dog went to make friends with one in the fenced in yard and got sprayed in the face. She then proceded to try to rub it off on the sofa when she rushed in the house so we then had a stinky house yet again. This was the second time being sprayed in two years and we pray it is the last time. There was a big story about the increase in skunk population in our county at

  • Chip

    I was in a deep sleep one summer nite last year windows open, when I had a dream that I came upon a skunk den, when in fact I woke up and my whole room smelled of skunk. There were skunks in my neighbor yard spraying, needless to say I did not sleep in the room for the rest of the night and it took my Oreck air purifer 12 hrs. to rid my room and house of this odor. Skunk lovers come and keep all the skunks you want.

  • Jeanette aka “Skunk Friend”

    When I was a kid, everytime my mother smelled a skunk she would say, “There’s one of Jeanette’s Friends.” I grew up believing skunks were my friends. It was older that she explained why she said that. I have loved cats since before I could walk. When I was about 18 months old, and at my grandmother’s house, my family heard me calling “Kitty! Kitty!” They looked up to see I was chasing a skunk! My Uncle Don ran over and scooped me up and carried me away. Of course I was too young to remember the incident. So I repeated it when I was a teenager. I was calling a beautiful black persian, who whirled around when I got to close, and gave me a very indignant look. I backed away, apologizing. He snorted and stomped off. Since then I have met up with skunks several times. They only raise a stink when they feel cornered. I can relate to that!

  • Ann Fox

    Last winter our cats shared their litter boxes and their beds in the basemant with a skunk. We never smelled (her) and there was never any fights with the cats. I surprized her one day at the cat food dish and all she did was look up and then continue eating. Never once was she aggressive. When spring came I live trapped her and returned her to the wild. I often wished I had kept her! I have her pictures to keep me warm. She had alot of white on her and was very large. When I let her go in the bush about 7 miles from our farm she hung around for a long time…I often wonder how she is doing! I have alot of respect for skunks and especially their capacity for love……I miss her!

  • Sandol

    we have a skunk that lives under our house. mostly it has taken up residence in our vent system. on night while i was sitting on th couch i heard it scurring around in the vent and i peered down into the vent directly in front of the couch and it’s little nose appeared!!! he stinks up the house quite frequently around 3 am.

  • Jack

    15 or 20 years ago, a co-worker asked if I would help her out and chaperon with her son’s scout troop. We were at a scout camp in Idyllwild, CA. Another chaperon and I with several scouts settled into one of the cabins. Setting up our sleeping bags on the bunks, I choose a lower bunk near the door.
    Sometime in the night I woke to what I thought was my cat walking across my legs. I kicked my leg to shoo my cat off. My eyes snapped open when I realized I wasn’t at home. I laid there for a few minutes, listening and trying to think what would be small and nocturnal. Couldn’t be a raccoon, too light, squirrels are diurnal. Having a supposition, I got my flashlight out and looked around. Sure enough, a few bunks away was a small skunk.
    I got up, opened the door and proceeded to try to herd the little creature out with my flashlight. I heard a few of the boys whisper, “Skunk”. I shushed them and succeeded in getting the skunk out and closed the door. The other chaperon never woke up.
    The next morning, the episode circulated around the camp faster that stink on the wind. The skunk must have been sleeping in an old wood stove in the cabin. It didn’t spray and the cabin didn’t have any odor to hint to the fact we were intruding on the little guy’s territory. We were known as the Skunks for the rest of the weekend.

  • Alleah

    It started when I was 7 going on 8 years of age my favorite animal changed almost everyday. When I got annoyed of finding a favorite animal, I had a wave of change and started to like skunks, I did a little research to learn about this cat-size creature and learn about its characteristics. I learned a lot I also watched a lot of informal tv shows. Going to a little into the future my 11th birthday I got my first skunk doll. I was speechless with happiness and my love for skunks grew tremendously. I was so thrilled that day. Now in the persent day I’m still keeping my love for skunk straight to the heart because I have been tracking down my roots and I found out I’m a Native American from P.R. and they had animal totems so I put two and two together I figured out my totem is a skunk. I’m gentle but fearless. My love is so strong I’m going to physically transform myself to a skunk or as close to a skunk as possible just like Dennis Avner a.k.a Stalking Cat. I’m still to young to get a tattoo but in three more years I will be old enough for the tattoos and piercings for my human to skunk transformation.

  • bella

    my dad and mom was driveing at by the mall and then they saw a mom and babaies skunks and my dad got out of the car and picked up the babies to help them get across the street. the mom was already there.

  • Al

    This planet will be better off without… people. That’s right, PEOPLE need to check out, and leave the skunks, the big cats, and the antelope alone. You remember the antelope, right? I mean as in: “Where the deer and the antelope play”? – when was the last time the west U.S. had antelope? And did I tell you that wild horses are shot on OUR land (government land) because ranchers using OUR land to feed their cattle want to shoot wild horses to “protect the grasses”…. Skunks in the yard here in NH eat grubs out of the lawn, they eat bugs, they eat the same kind of food that a bird might eat (pine nuts, berries, etc.) One living nearby approached and startled me. I knew about the spray habits of startled skunks, and I withdrew. I regret it, because I think I broke the little fella’s heart, he was killed in the road inside a week. Everyday I meet more stupid people and we are steadily wiping out our planet and every living thing on it. It is a BEAUTIFUL planet, and we are the only species indifferently destroying it. I hope God invents a virus to just kill humans.

  • Johnny Rodrigues

    I was a firefighter at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California in the early 90’s. We had just got back from an emergency on a warm summer night when we found a skunk in the garage where we park the fire trucks. The skunk went behind our coke machine and the Shift Captain told us to leave it alone and it will leave. Well, one of the guys decided to poke a stick at it behind the coke machine and it sprayed. The firehouse stunk for weeks that followed and it’s a story my young daughter enjoys to hear.

  • Christine Long

    Good morning! I just got home from vacation and was thrilled that I had taped the skunk program. I loved it! Very informative. I don’t really have a skunk “tale” but would like to understand why I roll down my car window to get a better whiff when I drive past a skunk that has been hit by a car. I LIKE the smell. I have never been near someone or something that has been sprayed.
    I’m not sure if things might be different in that case or not. Does anyone know why I might like this odor? Thanks! Keep up the EXCELLENT nature programs.

  • Charlie Fox

    A few years back, I lived in Winfield, IL, about 30 miles west of Chicago. An area where nature preserves abound. We would get wildlife around from deer to coyote to oppossum to raccoon to…skunks. We had my dog and my sister’s dog…both Silky Terriers. My dog, Suki, is a natural hunter; if we got a field mouse inside, it was soon dead. She’s a great mouser!
    However, one night she and Danni, my sister’s dog, were in the backyard and we heard this horrible barking, like a distress call. Danni, the smart one, came running up to the back door, whimpering. She had definitely been sprayed, though not badly. Suki, on the other hand, was barking nonstop. A skunk was on the other side of the chainlink fence, spraying Suki over and over, full force in the face. Suki had her nose through the fence, trying to get at the skunk, seemingly unmindful of the strong spray.
    I had come prepared but almost threw up as I dropped a beach towel over my crazy dog. I held her at arm’s length and immediately put her in the bathtub and closed the door! I had two quarts of homemade tomato juice and as soon as I could take a deep enough breath to hold, I went back in the bathroom and poured both quarts on Suki. I rinsed her off, then bathed her…twice! She still smelled so she and Danni, who my daughter had already bathed, spent the night in the bathroom with the window open.
    Early the next morning, I contacted the groomer at the nearest Petco store who told me I could use a feminine bath product to bathe her in. Then I brought Suki into the groomer who had a big bottle of de-skunk solution to bathe her in. I could still smell a bit of the skunk on her but she was allowed to live with the rest of us.
    However, not thinking about the spray being on the grass, I let the dogs out into the backyard. Suki made a bee line for the sprayed area. I could have killed her! I called the groomer who laughed and told me to bring her back in. There was no charge for the additonal de-skunking but I had to buy a large bottle of the solution. I was happy to do so!
    It was several weeks before the smell was completely gone from Suki’s head. Every time she got her head wet, we could smell the skunk; not as bad but still there!
    We deduced that Suki definitely still had a wild side to her; she’s fearless. She’ll be 13 this year and still as adventurous as ever!

  • Daniel A. Capotorto

    When I was a kid, about 10 years old, I was walking down Sprout Brook in Paramus, NJ on the Ridgewood Country Club side of the brook. When I noticed movement alongside the bank. As I got closer I saw a big female skunk caught in a leg trap. She was super stressed out as she tried to free her right foreleg. As I watched her trying to free herself I began trying to think of a way to free her without getting sprayed. I decided to jump on her, hold her tail down and push the spring on the trap with my knee. This is what I did except that I pushed her head into the ground with my left hand, held her tail down with my right hand, and began pushing the trap spring down with my knee while she was squirming all over. However, just as I got her leg free, she freed her tail. The tail whisked up across my face and I was looking at her sphincter barely an inch away; alls I did was close my eyes. She let me have it, full blast, the scent was dripping down my face. I released her at that instant and she took off like a bat out of hell. I wiped my face and neck with my coat sleeve and walked back home. My mother washed my clothes and I took along bath. After that I guess I’m used to skunk smell because it does not bother me. I remembered this experience after watching your Nature show on skunks. Like Mr. Dagoo says he was used to the skunk scent where he would never even notice it.

  • Lisa Crims

    Remember spring is almost here and you will be smelling alot more skunk with mating season being around the corner. Sometimes the smell is a hint of where they maybe nesting so be kind when relocating a mom and think of kits she might leave behind.

  • dora


  • Stevie Leonard

    Skunks are cute but smelly. when i was five I went into the woods and saw a”smelly cat” and I went up to it because I love cats. so it starts stamping its feet and I think awesome it wants to play so I come closer and than it lifts its tail. So i’m laughing having a good time than the skunk turns its back on me and I think its leaving so i get closer and notice its head turning into a “U” position. So here i am onthe floor looking straight at the skunk’s BUTT. Than the moment , the yellow,and extremely stinky fluid fly’s right directly into my nose and I scream, nearly blind i run directly into the skunk and it sprays me again this time in the eyes. so i waited there crying,blind,and extremely stinky for nearly two full hours.
    Let me tell you the smell was there for about 6 months after numerous tomato baths! eeeeewwwwww!!!!

  • Alex Horcio

    i love skunks, because well I live in skunk city New york I have been sprayed before. 1 time when i was 7 i went in my neighbors yard because I seen a cat and I went over and ran so fast I tripped on the curb,and the skunk startled and nervous heard me fall and whipped up its tail and i was freaking out because the smell and also because the spray was a fine stream,a direct hit in
    my mouth I literally threw up right on the spot and the skunk afraid at me sprayed me twice more in the eyes. I WAS BLIND AND STUNK TO HIGH HEAVENS!!!! As my momma said never play with a skunk, because she was sprayed and recognized the smell as I walked in the door!

  • Ruth Newhouse

    We were at a campground at Greer, AZ where a number of campers and skunks were peacefully coexisting by observing the rule “you don’t bother me and I won’t bother you.” After supper one evening my husband was visiting our camp neighbors and I was sitting in our tent on top of a sleeping bag. I thought about zipping up the tent flap but before I could do so, in stepped a skunk. Too late to try to scare it away, so I froze in place. It sniffed at a box of cooking pans, then started sniffing its way down the edge of the sleeping bag I was sitting on until it got to my hand. Its whiskers tickled, and I thought “Horrors, we’ll have to get rid of the sleeping bag – WE’LL HAVE TO GET RID OF ME!” But thank God nothing happened, and it sniffed its way down the other sleeping bag and out the tent door. The neighbors not only told us about tomato juice but also the danger of rabies, so I was very, very fortunate.

  • Chris S.

    Hey Christine (#155), I actually really like the smell of skunk musk too! I know this is really odd but not unheard of. I have been very close to the smell when a skunk sprayed outside a dorm I was living in once, and the very fresh, up close and personal smell is an extremely intense, overpowering and different experience from the whiff you get on the breeze. I can’t say that’s exactly pleasant, but there is still something intriguing about it, and I do like the basic notes in the odor. The chemicals in the spray are, after all, some of the same ones found in garlic, onions, and coffee, all of which I like.

  • Susan

    Once when I was about 10 or so my mom laid out crunchies right outside the front door for our black and white cat Boots. One evening I heard crunching through the front door and thought maybe the cat wanted in. So I opened it and seeing a dark figure about six inches from the step said “Oh hi Boots…” When I suddenly realized that this was NOT Boots I slammed the front door and hurried to tell my parents!

  • emily

    About 2 years ago my boyfriend was in the woods cutting firewood .HE came home and told me that he had found 5 baby skunk kits .They were all by themselfs and there was no mother around ..So we decided to watch them for a couple of days ,still no mom .Come to find out there mom was hit by a car and killed .We then decided to bring them home because i’m a big animal lover and believe everything brought into the world devises a fighting change in life ..When we got home with them we decided to take them to a man who helps with abandon wild animals …I couldn’t call DNR
    because here they would destroy them..They where to small to look after themselfs and they would have died .I then decided to keep one .I named her sweetie
    and she is a wonderful pet .She lives in my home with 3 dogs and are pet cat ..They all get along great..I did have to get a permit to keep her and i did have her desented…She’s very happy and has a really good
    life ..And her brothers and sister are doing well ..Her sister comes to visit once in awhile ..She has a very special place in my heart ..

  • Stevie Leonard

    skunks are so stinky p.u Here’s another stinky story! Haha. One time I am walking in the woods similar to my other one this time at night! I see a whole family of small black and white critters so I go up to the baby , pull its tail and this really I mean reaaly pisses off the mother so The sphincters tighten and BAMMM!!!! a direct face load and the baby gets angry to so I fall and the baby claws me to the ground and I fall and about 6-7 others jump on me and I am screaming and this scares the babies! I feel a warm little buty touch my eye and I open it very quickly to receive a mist in my eyes and like a chain reaction it scares the other ones so I was sprayed about 8 times!!!!! The smell let me tell you was SO BAD I kept vommitting all night and the next day I went to the woods to try to get revenge instead I got SPRAYED again!!! So the smell was on for the rest of the year and I had to live in a deserted home for a week ! whenever my parents came over they would wear face masks! eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww! It stunk so bad i could barely breathe the smell was like 8 rotten eggs shoved up your nose poop thrown on your face, Burning rubber and the other grossest substances on the planet!

  • Herb Schaffer

    I was hiking the Grand Canyon with my son, his school chum and his friend’s father. Our hike was during the summer, so to avoid the heat we began our hikes at 4AM. On our trip out to the North Rim, we stayed at Cottonwood Camp, the halfway point. We had stored our food off the ground using Park Service provided metal poles. So in the dark, with flashlights in our mouths, we spread the food on a tarp to split up the load. Well, all of a sudden, a skunk ran between my legs, grabbed our loaf of bread and took off! Since that was our only bread, and was intended to provide us sandwiches for lunch, I chased after that darned skunk! As I ran after him with my flashlight, I scooped up small rocks. As I got close, the skunk would stop and lift his tail. Well, I began pelting him with those rocks! He did’t like the pelting, so he ran off still holding onto that loaf of bread.. We, the skunk and I repeated this process three or four more times, when finally the skunk felt it was too painful to keep the bread and abandoned it.. The sandwiches tasted even better than normal later that day because of the efforts to save it!

  • amy

    When I was about 3 years old I was outside with my twin sister and little brother, when I saw a huge skunk about 2 feet away near the bushes. They were walking right towards it. I tried to warn them, but I didn’t know what the animal was called. They both got sprayed and started crying. I didn’t get sprayed. My mom gave them tomato juice baths.

  • amy

    This summer my family started to notice young skunks in the yard. Soon we discovered they were living under the house because my brother found a strange hole by the house and squirted a hose in it. Out ran 7 very young skunks! They were running all over the yard. My mom paid animal control people to come and trap them to take them away.

  • Stevie Leonard

    Hey all you that haven’t been sprayed i have a homemade way to make it feel like you have!
    1. mix burnt rubber, rotten eggs,and all other smelly things in house.
    2.pour this on yourself
    3. get a bottle of shampoo and pour it in your eyes!

  • justin kom

    wow it works!!!!! it hurt so much!!!!! and smelled awful!!!

  • Sara

    When i was five i went into the woods with 3 friends. we saw some “cats” we chased them. They eventually stopped and reared their heads my friends and i each picked one up. we all got sprayed but we held on too them. We each brought them in our houses and they sprayed our parents. the skunk i held sprayed me 6 times and the last two times it sprayed my face. my friends parents also got sprayed. we dint have tomato juice and the ppl at the store wouldnt let us in so we smelled for 2 months never again will i pick up a skunk

  • Halana Cone

    On a 3 week camping trip around the Grand Canyon, we continually had nocturnal problems with racoons getting into heavy box of food, stored outside, against the tent wall. Dad would tell me to ” beat on the side of the tent . . beat on the side of the tent”__meanwhile, he would go turn the car lights onto the animals to scare them off. We were on our 5th episode of these nocturnal visits, and once again I heard Dad say “beat on the side of the tent!” . . .a cautious, quiet .. yet severe tone over took his voice when he said “do NOT beat on the side of the tent. Do NOT!!” The car lights went off. This time there were not racoons in the food box. By my head, outside in the food box were 2 skunks. We laid quietly. For a long time, til THE SKUNKS decided they’d go on, themselves.

  • james conale

    One time on a camping trip and was sleeping with the tent a crack open and at 1:00 a.m i felt a fuzzy thing run across my face and i began kicking it and punching it than. a HORRIBLE ,PUTRID,STINGING smell ran across my eye and I screamed and the tent was not open. so i kept getting sprayed over and over!! i kept kicking and screaming and the smell kept getting worst and worst! i also kept vomting and i counted the times i was sprayed 39 times, the smell STUNK so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • stevie Leonard

    skunks, LOL the smell is terrible james!haha

  • john malovich

    skunks smell! One time I was in my cabin and this furry thing went under the couch and I felt it and kicked it! then this HORRIBLE, PUTRID odor rose and i looked under the couch and boom! 1..2..3 the smell was stuck in my mouth,my eyes and my my nostrils i began screaming and boom again the smell was so unbearable i fell to the floor and when i woke up i ran from the area and screamed ” help i have been skunked!”

  • james macky

    about a month ago about 2 at night me and my buddy were walking around are division and he noticed there was a skunk. insted of doing the smart thing and walkng away we desided to see how bad we would smell if we were to get sprayed. we both picked up some stones and threw it at it, so it came charging after us. we just let him come to us while we picked up more rocks and waited until it was anleast 3-4 feet away from us. it dashed beside me as i though and BAM! sprayed my armpit. and i mean my armpit including hair and skin ( we were both working out earlyer and we were wearing muscle shirts). my friend trows a rock at it and got sprayed. near the chest area or something. i didnt picture it being so bad and i couldnt move thinging “AHHH!” at the same time we both turned around and started walking back but the skunk followed us so we turned around and started yellin “shoo” and it sprayed us again. we bolted home and i filled the kiddy pool with water for us. as we bathed in our underwear we saw lights turning on in other peoples houses. the next day we staying in the pool and the tub full of water but we could tell it wasnt working. i went on the internet and looked up what removes skunk smell, and water apparently makes it harder to get out. we also found out tomato juice kills skunk smell so ive been bathing in that 3 hours a day since. i still stink a lil too. i even shaved my armpit thinking i would lose some stink. Now no girl will come near us in awhile thats for sure.

  • Darcie

    I have had Siberian Huskies all my life and one of them was PARTICULARLY adventuresome and liked to CHASE things. Her name was Joelle and her twin brother was Gabriel. Think of Felix and Oscar with these two. Well, when they were babies, they got sprayed by a skunk and you’d THINK they’d never forget it. My mom would say “Stay away from the pretty kitties with the black and white stripe!” to them as a joke. Well, year after year, we’d see Gabriel running away as fast as he could away from the skunk, and Joelle getting into some stinky altercations. She got schpritzed about four times – she just could not resist playing with the skunkus despite its funkus! hahhaha! Gabriel was like COUNT ME OUT!

  • Darcie

    Oh yeh – if anyone is a child of the 80’s you may remember this game from like 1982 called Hook Line and Stinker – that thing REALLY smelled like skunk

  • chaya stock

    at our summer camp we warren the children about leaving bunkhouse doors open. because animals might get in to sample any goodies they are hiding .
    one summer a small skunk got in wile some children were already asleep,raised on a farm i am not bothered by animals and love them all,we had to devise a way to get the skunk out without aggravating it .we used mattresses from the beds to form a walkway to the closest door and coaxed the skunk to take our walkway out. lucky for us we succeeded . but another time we were not so lucky and had to wash and clean up a bunkhouse and what a job it was.

  • Beth

    I was excited to hear of another person who cannot smell skunk… I can’t either! Nor can my aunt, and my brother doesn’t think they smell bad.

    Personally, I think they are cute. A pair of them frequented my backyard for many years. I almost tripped over them in the dark more times than I could count, but they never sprayed. They never even threatened me, probably because they knew no human in their right mind would hurt a skunk. Or possibly because they knew I was the one who put out the birdseed.

  • stevie Leonard

    I have left plenty of stories so here’s one 4 u guys! go to for skunk info, pics, videos, chatting with friends about skunks and more! If u r a skunk lover or want to be on go here!

  • johanne-Louise Seguin

    What a adventure…..I had just broke up with my Husband and I went House Looking to buy another one…I went in at the door of a house stay about 36 min on the way out it was dark,I pass under a big Maple tree and I was walking and felt fur in between my legs like it did a criscross throught, for a minute I thought it was a cat my X-Husband who stayed as my friend… who was in the car waiting. looking who was very panic saw the skunk was trying to tell me to hurry-up without shouting so it doesn’t spray on me. I walk to the car without any panic .I look at him what’s wrong, He said didn’t you see that .I said What ! a skunk pass in between your legs..Cool I said That mean something so went looking on sites and came across this one so here is my story. But I wonder if this means anything it probably does me and my X-husband got back together…But I think that was cool anyway I saw that skunk when I got in the car I found it cute……Thank-you for reading my adventure of this cute little furry creature….
    My Little Furry Friend That Guide Me One Night… ….

  • Stevie Leonard

    FINALLY!!!!!! I see a skunk while driving and i DON’T get sprayed!! I was driving and i drive ny the golf course and one is o the side foraging! It must have sprayed earlier though, because there was that pungent odor again!! It wasn’t on me this time!!!! YAY!!!

  • Sharon Fennell

    My husband saw two large skunks and three baby skunks emerge from under our house one late afternoon. Others have spotted them roaming in our neighborhood. We continued to watch for them, but no longer saw the adults. Fearing something may have happened to the adults, we are currently trying to give them a fighting chance by feeding them. The noise of the screen door is like a dinner bell for them. They are very cute and playful with one another. They do not offer to spray me. I am able to stand about two feet from them and throw the food to them. They must have very poor eyesight as they often startle one another when they aproach each other. They are still skidish but one is very brave and always comes out first and hangs around the longest.

    Word has gotten around the neighborhood that they “stay” at our house. Hopefully they will grow up and migrate to other areas of the neighbor hood.

    I didn’t realize how social and gentle they are. They deserve to live in harmony with humans.

  • MJ Graham

    We have various residents who reside under the front porch each year, primarily Eastern Cottontails & Striped Skunk. One Summer evening, Frodo (our black & white Tuxedo cat) sneaked out. After realizing he was missing, I took a look through the porch screen door to try and spot him but the only black & white critter out there was a Skunk relaxing on the porch stoop. Quietly I backed away & began to close the windows & doors around the house. When I got to the mudroom door, Frodo was waiting there to get it. Upon opening the door, he flew by me, ran to the living room, leaped up on the coffee table & sat there blinking furiously. Poor boy – he must have surprised his “look-a-like” when rounding the corner of the house. Needless to say, the house & Frodo had a bit of an aroma for the next several days. Regardless, in the ten years we’ve had Skunks taking refuge under the porch, only twice have they sprayed so we leave them be. I’ll admit that this Winter we’re happy to welcome the Eastern Cottontail who is making the porch its home.

  • Laurie

    Nothing will break up a game of miniature golf faster than the appearance of a skunk. We were vacationing in Arkansas last summer with our three small children. We were enjoying a game of miniature golf when all of a sudden our 5 year old daughter shouted, “There’s a skunk!” Sure enough, about 50 feet away was a skunk making its way toward us. I shouted for the children to run to the car. We told the other players that a skunk was on the course, and they ended their game prematurely, too. I ran with the baby in the double stroller, down a hill and through a ditch to get the the car as fast as I could. I looked around for my husband and couldn’t see him. He had stayed behind to watch the skunk. I guess the skunk had the course to himself the rest of the night.

  • Laurie

    Nothing will break up a game of miniature golf faster than the appearance of a skunk. We were vacationing in Arkansas last summer with our three small children. We were enjoying a game of miniature golf when all of a sudden our 5 year old daughter shouted, “There’s a skunk!” Sure enough, about 50 feet away was a skunk making its way toward us. I shouted for the children to run to the car. We told the other players that a skunk was on the course, and they ended their game prematurely, too. I ran with the baby in the double stroller, down a hill and through a ditch to get to the car as fast as I could. I looked around for my husband and couldn’t see him. He had stayed behind to watch the skunk. I guess the skunk had the course to himself the rest of the night.

  • Kayla

    I have seen many skunks butt my most smelly one was actually on New Year’s Day 2010! Great way to start the year! I was walking around with a few of my BFs at the mall and my parents couldn’t come pick me up and i lived only a little ways from the mall in Santa Clarita and there’s this pretty dark path on the way home that during the day it’s fine butt at night! CREEPY! So we were walking down talking and texting! keep in mind this is @ about 1 in the morning! So i hear this noise in the bushes and my friend says “aaahhh look how cute that cat is!” I agree with her after texting my man, Jake i look and think “OMG what kind of cat is this!” So i have 7 friends with me right? yeah 7! I have a cat so i wasn’t that interested! Until my friend jenny screamed! She made me drop and crack my phone with that scream! I was like what the hell until i realized the that cat! Wait that wasn’t a cat that was a SKUNK! that skunk was obviously scared poor little guy! He had a very talented anus! BAM..BAM…BAM…BAM…BAM…BAM…BAM…BAM!! That skunk sprayed all of us in 8 shots! One each! That smell will stay with me 4 the rest of 2010! Oh yeah and to this day i STILL reek! It stunk sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad! For those people that like it WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? None of my friends have got that stink out! And i have to go back 2 school next week! In the MIDDLE of the city so one question how far can that reeking stink go? And i need a VERY effective way to get it ALL out in 5 days!

  • Tybron

    Kayla, in case you’re checking this, a simple mix of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap should instantly deodorize the skunk scent when applied to sprayed areas with a sponge or towel. Sorry you had such a bad skunk encounter.

  • John Wallach

    I live in Diamond Bar, CA. Across the street from my house is a park called Sycamore Canyon Park, and that park has a lot of wildlife, like coyotes, raccoons, opposums,… and skunks. One night a skunk entered my backyard, my two dogs, Barbie and Rexy got excited from the intruder, and they darted over to the skunk to mess with it. NOT A GOOD IDEA!!! The skunk started hissing and stomping its feet, Rexy knew something was wrong and she backed away from the angry animal, but Barbie on the other hand was undetered. She started snapping at the skunk, and before you knew it, Barbie was sprayed, and the skunk ran off. For days, Barbie smelled awful, even after bathing her in tomato juice! But eventually, the smell wore off, and I hope Barbie will never get into it with a skunk again!

  • Mary Converse

    We found a skunk in the bottom of an abandoned well. My brother configured a rope and placed it around my younger brother who was about 5 or 6 at the time. My oldest brother Bruce lowered him down with a wwII gas mask on and we rescued the skunk. After the skunk was released… he simply turned to look at us and then walked away. We feared he’d spray someone but he never did. It was so kewl almost as if he turned to say hey thanks but later dudes I have to get some chow a few seconds ago ·

  • Joanna Cummings

    Several years ago I lived in an old Victorian-style house in Burlington, Vermont, on the ground floor. One day I came home from work and began the normal routine of feeding pets and making dinner when the most awful smell ever enveloped my apartment, so bad that I had to open all the windows, even though it was late fall. It was the smell of skunk, but about a hundred times worse than any road kill or sprayed pet I had ever encountered. When the indoor air was breathable again the odor still clung to curtains, bedspreads and clothes, so I hung EVERYTHING on the outdoor porch to air out. What a sight that was for the neighbors. The skunk sprayed again a day or two later, but this time the entire apartment building was engulfed. I was at my wits end and the entire house had to be fumigated–imagine odor of skunk mixed with church-lady perfume. Whoa. The landlord also called in a jack-of-all-trades-cum-exterminator to get rid of not one, but three skunks they found in the crawl space under my apartment. Unfortunately this guy’s girth was larger than the width of the crawl space, so he decided to throw masses of moth balls in the crawl space to chase out the skunks. The skunks stayed but my apartment then smelled like bad skunk, church-lady perfume and moth balls. Amazing I didn’t pass out from the mixture. He tried to remove the skunks by poisoning them, but by then one had died (most likely from distemper) and the others just left. It took a week-plus to get rid of all those odors from my apartment, but the smell of skunk lingered on my cloths for a while, and I remember someone asking me later if I had been sprayed by a skunk. How embarrassing!

  • Lori Reed

    I find myself in a very unique group of people. The scent of skunk is not offensive to me. Yes, I know, genetically we are supposed to be repulsed by the smell, but I don’t mind it. In fact, I like it. My biology instructor at WSU said that there are a very small fraction of people who genetically aren’t put off by the smell. I guess I’m one. Weird, but cool.

  • Peggy Mascher

    Last night, for the third time i was awakened by the strong scent. The last time I hoisted the insulated curtain (skunk wash zips right thru) and there was a skunk chomping on bird seed. When the light when on he/she scurried into the wood pile. Well at any rate last night I pulled the curtain up in response to the smell and there were two critters rolling over and over fighting (one of my staff asked today if they were mating, but I don’t think so). Ah, spring in Maine. Next we will see the wobbling line of babes following their mother (hmm, may be it was mating) off to the bird seed.Always pleased to have wild friends!

  • Donna Hanson

    My last skunk story occurred when I went camping with my son in Northern MN. I thought I had done a good job of cleaning up the camp site prior to going to sleep, we had a campfire that night and tried to put it out before going to bed. during the night i woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed that the campfire had relit, and I climbed out of my tent and came face to face with a skunk that was cleaning up the scraps I missed. I just slowly backed away and went to the bathroom, by the time I came back the skunk was gone, (he never sprayed either).

  • Steve Bremner

    I caught three spotted skunks in my laundry room last night with a humane trap. They can’t lift their tail when they are in the trap so I didn’t get sprayed!

  • Kim Daugherty

    When I was in 1st grade, the school I went to had large window-wells for the basement classrooms. When we used the playground at recess, it was common for balls to bounce into the window-well, and students would have to climb down in there to fish them out. One day I climbed down to get a ball, but the ordinarily firm sandy surface crumbled beneath my foot. A wriggling black body emerged, and a horrendous odor ensued. Someone yelled, “SKUNK!” All of my playmates scattered, screaming. I’ll never forget the humiliation of sitting alone in an isolated hallway on a stool, waiting for my mom to pick me up. The smell of me filled the entire school, and all of the classroom doors were shut tight in an effort to reduce the offensive odor. At home, I was treated to a tomato-juice bath, and they couldn’t send me back to school for days!

  • Mary Nell Bryan

    As a child, I watched a large family of skunks trek through a dry creek-bed near my house. I think there were thirteen. Three or four adults were in front, followed by numerous babies. The one in the lead was reverse-colored, white with black stripes. In my youthful exuberance, I decided he must be the grandfather. Maybe he was. :)

    A few years ago, while driving to a conference in Gatlinburg, I saw a skunk lying in the road. It had been hit and badly injured but not killed. It was struggling to get up. I couldn’t stand watching it suffer so I turned around and drove back so that I could move it out of the road. Sadly, it died shortly thereafter. It had sprayed before I found it and I cannot begin to adequately describe the pungency of that odor. That smell permeated my garments so much that my sister made me throw away my clothes – even my shoes – before agreeing to stay at a hotel with me that night.

  • Lee Barnes

    The first encounter happened when my wife Debbie went out one evening to feed the livestock in our main barn. It was her routine to feed the “barn cats” also, in a large dish where they could all gather round and feast at once. There were 7 cats that showed up immediately, as they were not afraid of humans as the feral cats were. We get an abundance of felines, some tossed from cars, others born in the wild. All of them, and dogs to, seem to find a home in our barn. Anyhow, Debbie looked down at the cats eagerly lapping up the cat food, moistened with milk, and occasional table scraps. When she counted we had 8 little heads nibbling at the food. Debbie assumed we had another abandoned cat. Can you imagine her surprise when she found a young adult skunk between her boots, gobbling up her offering. Suffice to say she quietly but promptly left the area. The skunk became a regular at the evening banquet for quite some time, but eventually stopped coming around, thankfully.

  • Terri

    We had one as a pet! I remember we kept it in the screened in pool area, where I spent a great deal of time as a toddler. We also had a squirrel at the time, and I remember combing my doll’s hair on the picnic table with the squirrel on my shoulder and the skunk walking around my feet. lol. I might have been three or four; I was clueless, but happy :)

    By the way, I never got sprayed by that skunk (whom we called “Skunky” ;) I forget what happened to him. Maybe I left the screen door open? No, wait, I’m sure it was my brother, Dale. Everything was always his fault …


  • Beverly

    One evening, just at dusk, I was leaving the house out the front door. I’d closed the door and was taking my steps off the porch when I realized there was a skunk waddling up the sidewalk towards me. I backed to the door and managed to get in the house. We were not more than 5 feet apart and thank goodness neither made much of a stink over the encounter…

  • Cliff Short III

    Somewhat similar to another poster’s experience (Betty A.), I grew up in a small town, Denver, in Lancaster County PA, and had a skunk as a pet. A nearby dairy farm, the owners of whom I was friends, allowed me to keep him there in a calf pen. The youngest daughter of the farming family and I ’shared’ him as a pet. The biggest kick I got (and the gawking neighbors and passing cars) was taking him for a walk from the farm to my house along the road and through my neighborhood. Named after my fifth grade teach, Arthur Hagy, which was a compliment, Arthur was easily one of the smartest pets I’ve ever had as a child or adult. I was a serial pet owner as a kid. Anything you could imagine from turtles, to gerbils, to lizards, to frogs, on and on, I had as a pet as a kid. Arthur was a great pet and attention grabber as well as just plain fun to play with in the yard and in the house.

  • Robin

    I am hoping someone can give me some advise on how to catch a skunk ( in a humane cage) from under my porch. We have hired a professional to do this for us but, with no success. We put an array of different foods to catch them but they don’t seem interested .Since this is mating season our house is getting sprayed at least once a week. I can’t stand it anymore. The professional has been at this quest for two weeks now and all he has caught is a opossum . I someone has a sure fired way to attract a skunk to a cage PLEASE tell me now. Robin

  • Kim

    I have 3 stories. The first came on a camping trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My husband and I were sitting at a picnic table outside our tent, playing cards by lantern light. There came a rustling in the underbrush. A skunk emerged and circled about the campsite several times, rooting around very close to where we were sitting. We sat deathly still, not wanting to invite the spray. In time, the visitor scurried away.

    Several years later, driving down a gravel, county road in the UP, we came upon a skunk that was strolling down the middle of the road. Each time we tried to go around, the tail went up, and each time my husband backed off the gas pedal. The critter was intent on owning the road and we were not about to argue. We followed it – very slowly – down the road for about 1/4 mile. Finally, near some railroad tracks, the skunk decided to leave the road, allowing us to go on our way.

    Visiting friends at a cabin in northern Wisconsin, we let our Lab and their Wheaton Terrier out for one last break before bed. The dogs spotted a skunk and gave chase. Ther terrier got sprayed. We had to leave him tethered outside all night. The next day, neither a bath in the lake with tons of shampoo, tomato juice, tomato sauce, or scent remover provided by a veterinarian worked to remove the smell, though it did lessen it somewhat. That poor dog! For six months, each and every time his coat became damp, we were all treated to an odiferous reminder of that summer encounter.

  • Sharice Carter

    During one of me and my dog’s many late night walks this summer, we encountered a skunk. My Jack Russell, Samantha, immediately went in attack mode and broke free from her leash. Barking and carrying on, the skunk decided to have some fun and started chasing Sam around the neighbor’s yard and that’s when I smelled it. The skunk sprayed Sam. I could not control Sam’s behavior at this point. The only thing I could think of was to chase the skunk away. Bad Idea! Long story short, I was sprayed along with the car after trying to bribe Sam with a car ride. Our house smelled for 4 long days and so did we!

  • Nicole

    When I was four years old. I remember playing outside by my grandmother’s garden. As I sat on the grass I saw this little face peeping through some bushes. So I started calling it to me, because I thought it was a kitten. It slowly came out of the bushes, bobbing it’s cute little head up and down. It came right to me and crawled on my lap, and I started petting it. Just then my mother came outside and saw the skunk on my lap. She became hysterical. I remember looking at her like she way crazy and telling her..”it’s ok mommy, i’m just petting the nice kitty!”

  • Bruce V.T.

    I live in Nelson BC and have large garden. My open compost heap is a haven for skunks and they help keep the slug population down. Dogs do come by and especially on warm summer night can get almost steamy smelly for an hour or two. Competition with Racoons extreme and for awhile looked like skunks would loose. After a few years both populations are stable. Once under a spruce tree in my yard while watering, mother skunk brought out the family of four kits they all docking under the water spray turned and looked at me and continued on their way only a foot or two feet from me. Nelson is Called the Queen city but an early morning outing might change ones mind to Skunk city. Actually have seen neighborhood cat playing with skunks. Walking at night in my yard carry on load conversation or sing so will be aware of my presence. I love skunks look forward to seeing them. One last quick episode, one winter while washing dishes looked out my window to see a skunk peering in at me snow falling heavily.

  • scott marsh

    I had a number of skunks that move into my yard two winters ago. They were attracted to my bird seed, which I was spreading on the ground so the birds didn’t have to compete at the feeder. The problem was, they moved into a groundhog hole under my back deck. Most of the time the smell wasn’t too bad, but ever so often some night time encounter the smell would become intense. I say intense, but this doesn’t compete with a direct spray. I took up the task of live trapping the skunks. Trapping proved to be very easy, and transporting them to someone elses neighborhood seemed easy enough the first three times. Oh but the fourth. On a Sunday afternoon I noted yet another cruising the yard. It was the star black, only white was a spot on its forehead and the tip of its tail. It had proved to be much more leary of the live trap after seeing other skunks trapped. But it was unable to turn down fresh fancy feast cat food. The others I had allowed to stay in the trap over night, and had even fed some so they wouldn’t suffer too bad, but we were leaving town in the morning, I decided after only a half hour to take care of the situation. My method had been to slowly approach the trap and gentle cover it with a small drop cloth. Then I would simply set it in the back of my work van and travel a few miles out of town and release.I made it to the van, and as I turned the trap to set it in the uncovered end faced my way and also the back end of the skunk. I must tell you that the smell is quite different when the stuff is sprayed in your face. I had nothing else to do at this point but to follow through with the plan. When I arrived at the only four way stop between me and the final destination, I had my head hanging out the window in a cold early March air. I could barely see, there was vomit running down the side of my van, my eyes were watering, and I was drooling like a loose jawled hound. The passengers of the car that arrived at the insection at the same time as I sure gave me a second look. When I dumped the skunk from the live trap he simply set there and looked at me as if to say “we still buddies”. A year later after setting closed up on a hot day, the van still manage to remind me of the event.

  • PJCook

    I never knew I didn’t have a sense of smell until I was on a double date at the age of 17 and my date hit a skunk in the road, my friends were literally hanging out the car windows, and I didn’t understand why. Then they said how horrible the smell was. Apparently I was born this way or lost my sense of smell by the time I was 5 years old. Now when trying to explain to others how I have NO sense of smell, I just say; “I would be the only person left in a room if a skunk were to walk in with an attitude”.

  • Anthony Stamborski

    This did not happen to me but a friend from work. A family of skunks made their home under his back porch by digging a hole under his concrete steps. His wife started to complain to him about the smell in the basement from the skunks. He called village hall and they gave him some phone numbers to call. None of them would remove the skunks. But one of them advised him to watch the opening and when the skunks left in the evening to cover the hole where they came out. This worked but for the next three nights they came back and sprayed the house. And almost a year later they came back and sprayed his house again.

  • Don Nardi

    While camping in Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA I witnessed a skunk working in cooperation with a raccoon. The raccoon came into our camping area and opened up our cooler which was on a picnic table. He proceeded to remove food from the cooler and eat it while dropping some on the ground. The skunk would soon show up and they both feasted together. We saw them together on several occasions.

  • Mel

    Where I grew up in farm country, there was a skunk colony living in a cow field on top of a hill. There was a dirt pile, probably 10 by 15 feet, with 7 or 8 tunnel holes in it. When we kids would get brave enough to mess around it, there would be 5 or 6 skunks come out of the holes, ready to battle. I still have scars from diving thru the barbed wire fence. To this day I like the smell of skunk on a warm summer night. It reminds me of all the fun I had growing up. But I’ve never heard of skunks living in a colony like prairie dogs do.

  • Deborah Quinn

    When I lived in rural Vermont years ago, an elderly neighbor – a native Vermont farmer – told a story that sparked my appreciation of skunks forever more:
    Our neighbor had several cats who he fed every evening on his back porch. He would come out at dusk, where the kitties would gather around him, rubbing up against his legs until he poured the food into the old used pie plates and plastic tubs that were randomly placed along the porch.
    One night he sensed that there was an extra critter slithering around his legs along with the others. He looked down and through the dimming light realized that this “cat” was actually a skunk. The cats were not perturbed and either was the farmer; he fed the cats – and skunk – as usual and the went inside the house without incident.

  • Nicole Niedert

    While visiting a large, wooded park in Dubuque, IA for some alone timewhen I was about sixteen , I decided I needed to use the restroom. WHile in the stall I heaard some scratching noiese and thought it was my boyfriend trying to scare me or something outside the door. I left the stall to wash my hands and turned to find an adult, wild skunk between myself and the only door to the outside. I froze against the wall, and kept my eyes locked on the skunk’s, not batting an eyelash. The skunk stared back for about 10 minutes and then went to investigate the two stalls closest to the door. I was afraaid of getting sprayed or attacked , so I just stayed frozen against the wall, the skunk moseyed around in there for about 10 minutes and started to leave, but right before he left, he stopped and turned back around, looked at me for about five more minutes and then turned and left. It took me quite awhile to regain my faculties enough to move away from the wall, a couple of mintues to get a grip on what just happened and trying to calm down. Then I had to get the courage to leave the restroom, trying to convince myself that he wasn’t outside waiting to spray and/or attack me as I left. Then I stood in the doorway for about five more minutes making certain that I had a clear get-away path to my car. ANd then, I ran like the wind. I got to the car and first, my boyfriend asked me what had taken so long and then he told this “Awesome” story about looking up from tuning the radio to see a skunk crossing the parking lot several yards away. I didn’t say anything except get me out of here! for about half an hour, and when I regained my faculties a little bit, I told him what had happened. That was about 15 yrs ago and I remember it like it happened 5 minutes ago.

  • Bronwen Denton-Davis

    Our adventure with “Albert/Albertina”…a youngster…began when he/she made a home beneath our house. We weren’t sure what to do. We called a “compassionate” skunk catch and release company that promised to deliver Albert/Albertina within 24 hours of being “caught” safely back to the wilderness. But the owner had passed away and his replacement, a grumpy fellow, waited four days in the extremely HOT Santa Fe, NM summer, before showing up. We were pretty sure he was hoping for a non-challenging “collection.” Realizing A/A was suffering we had erected a shade umbrella and an ice drip and read up regarding what skunks would like to eat and commenced feeding. Albert/Albertina was the sweetest most ameable creature we’d come across. So we housed, fed and cooled A/A for 4 days. The “catch and release fellow,” hoping to find a dead skunk, found a happy healthy comfortable A/A. I made the man swear on his mother’s good name that he would release A/A back into the wilderness. He was not happy to so swear. Apparently A/A upon his/her release escaped with a healthy scented spat at the less than experienced fellow who complained vociferously to me about the matter. We felt our mission was accomplished. And should Albert/Albertina return we will not send him/her away again.

  • Rita

    I was living in a small hamlet in Alberta Canada, we had a mother skunk and her 3 babies living under our pourch. I knew she was there and watched her and her wee ones walking out to hunt and play. They where the cutest wee babies around. Nether her nor her babies bothered us, as a matter of fact I had a pet Magpie and at first I couldn’t figure out how the bird got the sardine can so clean whenever I fed it, until I seen the skunk family. One day it was pouring rain and I sent my son out to play in the pourch… “there’s a skunk in the pourch” he said. I went to look and one of the tiny babies was in there checking out shoes and just trying to stay dry. I knew I had to get it out of there because hubby said he would shoot it if I didn’t. I gently shooed it out to the door and it was just about out when a huge rain drop landed right on its nose. It backed right up my hands and sat down. I thought at first I was spritzed, but it just looked back at me as if to say “cant I stay till the rain stops?” I laughingly had to push it out into the rain and it ran back around and under the deck. The mom also put the run on the neighbors pest of a dog, that was the funniest thing I ever saw, needless to say the dog stayed out of our yard (at least until the skunks moved on) I missed that little family.

  • annie marquis

    I took my 2 dogs up in the hills after I dropped off my mother at a house nearbye, we went on a little hike to while away the time till i had to pick her up. Eventually my dogs took off and I decided to rest on the grassy hill till they came back, just when I was wondering where they were I heard a noise behind me and turned to look just in time to see a skunk walk past and squirt me directly in the face ! Yikes what a stinging in the eyes, laughing at the ridiculousness of it ,but also slightly hysterical I ran down the hill and found a muddy puddle to splash in my eyes , my dogs appeared and we headed home , I took 3 showers ina row, but still smelled. I , I went to pick up my mother and was invited in, ” you don’t want me in here” I replied. Everyone at work thought I smelled like marijuana. I stank for a month, wish I knew about the hydrogen peroxide baking soda back then.

  • Larry

    The place i go spring turkey hunting and for fall deer season we have a cabin.Every evening after dark we throw out our table scraps and we get at least 3 skunks to come up and eat every night. I had names for each one , one i called stinky and the other i called limpy because one of his foot was a stub and when he would walk he had a limp as he help it above the ground.I first saw him last year in the spring come up and he was about half grown , in the fall season he was nearly full grown. I really enjoyed having them around to feedi would turn on the porch light and watch them each night. I even have had them as far away as 2 feet come past me. And as long as you did not make any quick moves they would not try to spray you or even bother you at all.After a while they seemed to get used to me being around and were not very afraid at all.They were only interested in being fed. They truly are a beautiful animal as i love to watch wildlife anyway….

  • SwingingStar

    My best friend lives on a farm and she has all kinds of animals and many of them too. One dog, Coco, in particular has a bed on the back porch that is just hers and a rooster (that thinks he is a dog). This rooster has fought Coco for this bed and Coco’s only defense was to go into the nearby woods, bother a skunk in order to get sprayed, and roll in her bed. The rooster was bothered be this action. None the less, the rooster still wants that bed. after a great deal of time, and giving up on bathes for Coco, I can look out the window and see both dog and rooster sleeping on their bed, smelling like fresh skunk.

  • Bob Turner

    One summer evening I was running between buildings on the campus of UCSD. Just as I rounded the corner of one building two events simultaneously took place….I spotted a skunk and the irrigation system started up with a sprit of air and water that doused me. But in my mind I thought I had just been sprayed! Except for a few events in Vietnam, that encounter with the skunk and the sprinkler system really shocked me!

  • Jeff Bousquet

    In 1992 I was living in Mashpee, Mass. One night at around 2 am, my dog woke me up to let her out for a nature break. My eyes weren’t really open and as I opened the door, I heard the dogs claws scrambling on the tile entryway. I opened my eyes just in time to see what both I and my dog assumed to be a very bold cat- wrong!! That skunk shot us both in one stream that started at my dogs left front paw, up her leg, across her nose and back then up my right hand and arm, over my shoulder and hit the wall. Unfortunately, this was Easter morning. After a miserable remainder of the night, I found the only open business was the CVS pharmacy. When I got to the rear of the store by the pharmacists counter, he immediately pointed to an isle and told me to meet him there. When he walked over, he instructed me to mix up a few boxes of Massengale powdered douche and bath both the dog and myself with it. I inquired about tomatoe juice, and he told me that it really did not work, and that pet groomers secret ingrediant was the Massengale. I was dubious, but when you’ve been sprayed, you’ll try anything to get rid of the smell. After scrubbing us both down outside, I was very pleased to find that he was right- the smell was gone. Over the next few months, whenever the dog got wet I would catch a faint trace of that skunk. I hope someone can be helped by this method, I definately vouch for it.

  • Ken Sandusky

    A few years ago my sister and I were in rural Kentucky trying to track down the old family farm. With only a vague notion of where the property was located we flagged down a stranger and asked for help. He went way out of his way to help us. Eventually we found the property and began looking for an old family cemetery. The Good Samaritan had two big dogs who took the point on our hike. With great excitement they flushed a skunk, and got nailed. As the property was being used to graze cattle, the dogs discovered several wet cow piles and immediately rolled in them – I guess to eliminate, or mask the odor. So now they reeked and were covered in s_ _ _. The kindly stranger (who by now must have deeply regreted meeting us) took the dogs to a creek and tried to wash them off. Add wet dog smell to the mix. When we got back to the road my sister and I noticed that a large plastic tank filled the bed of his pick-up. The dogs had to ride home in the cab of the truck.

  • Tammy Janney

    About ten years ago in rural south Mississippi, I was returning home from a late shift at work. As I pulled into my driveway, my car’s headlights shone on a pack of more than thirty skunks travelling across my back yard, which was open field, and in the direction of my pond. I turned my car off but left the headlights on and began to “shoo” them. To my surprise, instead of scattering or running away, this entire pack of curious creatures turned toward me and began to waddle in my direction. It was both amazing and intimidating to witness their obvious lack of fear. I regret not having stuck around long enough to observe them further. They were truly a beautiful, jaw-dropping sight.

  • Gerald Beaudoin

    Last year while volunteering to paint the local cemetary fence, I was astounded one morning to see huge portions of the lawn all rolled up like you roll a sod. Some of the areas were several square feet in size and the entire cemetary was like that. At first, I thought it was vandals, but then realized that nothing had been taken….just all the grubs that were under the lawn. An old timer from the area said that skunks would do that…….and they sure did. We tried putting moth balls over the grass but they just came back night after night and rolled the moth balls into the sod roll in order to get at those grub worms. Took lots of photos but I guess they cant be shared here.

  • Michael Tureski

    Your show on the Skunk was terrific , a great learning experience, thank you.
    Years ago, my buddies and I were moose hunting in northern Ontario. We were staying in a Ranger’s, base station cabin located on the edge of a large lake about 1/2 mile from a forest fire lookout tower. It was late October and freeze-up was not far behind. We had bagged a moose, dressed it out, coated the quarters with salt, pepper and cheese cloth to keep the flies away in case the weather warmed up and hung them outside the front of the cabin. We settled in to celebrate our success, had a few pops and began playing cards. It was during the card game that I began hearing scratching sounds coming from beneath the floor directly under the table. I asked the other three guys to be quiet several times but each time I did, the scratching sounds stopped so the guys dubbed me , ‘the old fart’ , said I was imagining things, had too much to drink, had a good laugh at my expense and eventually went to bed. About 2 :00 am I got up to pee, got my flashlight, opened the door and there on the narrow porch I witnessed not one but 2 very large ‘bush kitties’ on tip toes gnawing at the lower edges of the moose quarters, (they must of enjoyed the salt and pepper seasoning). I quiclky closed the door and tried to rouse the others, encouraging them to ,’get a gun -quick’ but was only greeted with cat calls of , ‘go back to bed, your imagination is working overtime, ‘you’re dreaming’ and more derogatory remarks. The skunks must have heard the word ‘GUN’ because when I went back out to relieve myself, they had left.
    When the others finally got up about 8:00 am, they went out, saw the damaged meat, finally believed ‘the old fart’s’ imaginings and started a game plan to get rid of our not-so-welcomed neighbors. One of our crew was an amateur biologist who ‘knew for certain’ that skunks, a) would not spray in their den, b) could not spray with their tail in the down postion. That information was critical to our plans which included spare lengths of 6″ stove pipes, an old, rusty muskrat trap left by a local trapper, long timber spikes and some chain. We went round and round the log foundation of the cabin, plugging up obvious holes and left just one open. Into that one we pushed in a length of stove pipe, anchored the trap at the opening with a chain to one of the spikes and went hunting moose again.
    Late that night the loud ‘SNAP ‘ of the trap alerted us and three of us grabbed for our flashlights while our amateur biologist rolled over and went back to sleep. Out side, in the beams of our flashlights, we could see a trap weaving through the thick brush, followed by a very erect tail. We abandonded our chase.
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, muffled screams of, ” I cant breathe, I’m dying”, became louder and more desperate. It was of course our amateur biologist who had buried his head under a pillow trying to escape the vitriolic vapours of the skunk who apparently didnt know he couldnt spray with the tail down or that his den was sacred ! We eventually found the rusty trap minus its prisoner, made sure the rest of the striped family could not re enter their den (at least until after we left) and finished up our ‘vacation’. On the way home we stopped for fuel and a coffee. Still dressed in our hunting garb, we marvelled at the sheer politness of the folks in the line up for coffee, it was like the parting of the Red Sea as the people moved away and let us go first. It was only after we left that we realized our sense of smell was saturated with the residual aroma of skunk , we couldnt smell it but everyone else sure could ! When we got home, we entered our homes almost naked, aired everything for weeks but were reminded of our ‘little stinkers’ everytime those clothes got wet.

    ( The cabin has long since fallen into disrepair and no longer useable by campers. The decendants of the family who gave us a lesson in biology are probably warm and snug in their old den by the lake and reminissing about how their grandparents once countered an eviction notice),
    Miike T, Kingston,ON

  • Don Bender

    I live in Huntington Beach, Ca part of the huge metro complex of Los Angeles/Orange county. I usually go for a walk inside the housing tract about 10 to 10:30PM. One night when I turned a corner there was a skunk in the gutter. He turned & ambled up the gutter in the same direction as I was going. I followed at a respectful distance for 2 blocks, then he turned left down another street. I have seen him a number of times. He seems to have a regular route that he covers every night hunting for food.

  • Carolyn Cunningham

    I looked out my back window, and oh my gosh, my big dog, Jack, had a skunk by the scruff, shaking him every which way! Because I try to prevent my dogs from killing any living thing, I ran out to rescue the skunk. I told Jack to “drop it”, and he did. Without hesitating (or thinking much about it either) I reached down, grabbed the seemingly unconscious skunk by the scruff and took him out of the back yard. I laid him down under a big Leland cypress tree (sort of my private cemetary at my rural home), telling him I was sorry that he had died. Later I went back outside and noticed the skunk was gone. I think he was playing “possum” till he felt it was safe to run away. Of course, I didn’t realize till much later that my right hand smelled horrible…a smell that took several days to fade away. I thought I was going to have to sleep with my hand in a sandwich bag those first few nights!

  • Ginge Pate

    My brother borrowed my car to go to our sister’s wedding. It was a nice day so he had his arm outside the window while he drove. Little did he know that a skunk had sprayed my car and so he got the spray on his jacket sleeve. When he came to the church and the reception, he literally stunk. He was not a happy guest!!!

    Well, you always hear an author should write what she knows and so I wrote a humorous picture book story about Louie Phewie, a skunk who was invited to be the ring bearer at his friends’ wedding even though Louie has a problem with his sprayer. It can even get stuck sometimes especially when he gets startled or nervous. Louie makes it a wedding to remember!
    The themes are tolerance, persistence and true friendship. The name of the book is Would You Invite a Skunk to Your Wedding? It’s published by Greene Bark Press and it’s also sold on Amazon where there are reviews about the book.

  • Sal

    Having spent the evening with friends on a warm spring day, I was walking home at around 10:00 p.m. Arriving @ my house I proceeded to the rear of the house. The Skunk and I met at the corner of the house. The skunk was surprised as we met head on. My first sensory perception was I wanted to vomit! The stench was overwhelming. The whole yard and neighbors yard was enveloped in Skunk Juice. My folks would not let me into the house. I stripped down on the porch and junked the clothes. After a shower and scrubdown. I still smelled of skunk. The smell lasted two weeks on my skin. Nothing neutralized the smell. I was given a wide berth at school the first few days. Ended up burying my clothes from the spraying way out back!

  • david comer

    while incarcerated at the SAFP unit in breckinridge,tx WALKER SAYLE unit there is a family of skunks that are wild that roam the grounds and are friendly, the guards pet them at the guard station and are treated with kid gloves by the inmates. It was an awesome sight to experience such demeanor from something from the wild to be so unafraid of man.

  • Betsy

    I have had 3 pet skunks during my life but this story is about a wild one. For about 5 years I had a little friend named “Barn Skunk”. I was raising chickens in an old barn behind my house. I often saw skunks in the area, but began noticing that a little female with a solid white back had taken up residence in the barn. Feeling protective of my chickens but enjoying her increasing boldness around me, I decided to see if we could all coexist. I began leaving a small handful of cat food for her near her usual path, hoping that would satisfy her enough to keep her from pursuing a more difficult meal: one of my chickens. It wasn’t long before she came out of her den and would follow me around until I got around to putting her cat food down. One night I watched as she climbed from one nest to the next, looking for eggs. I normally collected them before evening, but there was a hen that had just started to sit. Barn Skunk carefully poked her head under the unshaken hen and rolled out an egg and ate it right there! I managed to rescue the rest but after that I worked out a deal with her. As long as she continued to be gentle with the chickens, she could have whatever I hadn’t collected that day. She never violated her end of the arrangement. In fact, Barn Skunk became so tame that I could stroke her back as she ate. She would sleep in the hens’ nests all day in the summer. One day I noticed that she seemed to have an eye infection. It was oozing and closed. That little wild skunk allowed me to apply antibiotic eye ointment as she lay half asleep in the nest. Her eye healed in a few days. My greatest reward for the relationship we had came one summer evening when she greeted me in the barn as usual but with 5 beautiful babies, marching behind her with their tails held high like flags. They were a remarkable variety of nearly all black to nearly all white with black feet and faces. I watched with delight as they played, scooting and charging one another. Skunks are one of those gifts of God’s creation that He gave us for wonder and amusement.

  • Dayna

    On my first birthday I was given a stuffed toy skunk “skunky”. He was my best friend. When I became older I asked my parents if I could have a pet skunk, they said yes because they did not think it was possible. I think it was about two years later, I was looking through an outdoor sportsman magazine and found an advertisement for a pet skunks. And that was that. Soon after, “Stinky” was flown in from a skunk farm in Iowa to my home in Michigan. We had great fun together and my love for skunks has not waivered (and this was about thirty years ago).

  • mick waukee

    i was driving to my home in beloit, wisconsin very late one night after visiting a former high school classmate at his new residence in a university of wisconsin dorm in madison, wisconsin. i had decided to take the “back” roads home, and listen to some talk radio, which for some reason i was actually into at the time. i spent way too much time taking unfamiliar roads, and ended up getting lost along the way, as i was only 17 (almost 18) and didn’t know the “back” roads from madison to beloit real well at the time. by the time i had finally found myself ready to cross the rock river, and return home to some much needed sleep, i had gotten to the point where i was just about asleep at the wheel, and headed east on county highway “Q”. when asleep, and driving, reaction times are very very slow, and i found myself approaching what was a dead skunk in my pathway. the one thing NOT dead about the skunk were it’s unspent glands, which my tires flattened, and added to my undercarriage and breathable air, which brought me to a very awakened state immediately. the smell stayed with my little vw for about 3 weeks, but i’ll always be grateful that skunk gave up it’s life to save mine. and that is my skunk tale. that was october of 1973.

  • Mike

    I was watching the show about skunks and seen a way to get rid of the smell on a dog by using a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and tomato juice which would break down the odor and could wash it off of your animal but they said it was just a masking point. I had a dog get sprayed and we used a product called Odor-Z-Way and it worked great pulling the odor off of my dog George and it was safe with no chemicals and it was a dry wash also found that we used the same product in our washer instead of detergent and it removed the odor out of the towels that we were using.

  • Wendy

    When I was a little girl (40 years ago), a neighbor called to tell us about 6 baby skunks following a black and white cat around the neighborhood. A skunk had been hit by a car a few days earlier and then this “new family” appeared… We watched them for a day or so, but then intervened because the babies looked like they were getting weak. My father and I were able to catch all of them and took them to the vet for evaluation. Sadly, five of them didn’t survive, but we kept the one survivor all summer. I named him Willy and he was a very sweet little creature. He loved to have his belly rubbed. I saved my allowance all summer to have him de-scented, but my mother wouldn’t allow him in the house, even de-scented. Luckily, my sister attended an agricultural school and the poultry instructor was happy to take Willy. The school had been dealing with break-ins at the poultry building, but once Willy was on guard duty, that problem ended immediately!

  • Reality

    Late one night while “cowboy camping” in Oak Creek Canyon (Arizona), I felt something tickling my face. I opened my eyes to find a skunk on top of my sleeping bag and chest. I was delighted when it waddled off without any further incident.

  • Karen Cruise

    Love reading all these stories. I never had a close encounter with a skunk until we lived for awhile in Riverside Co., CA. at the edge of a neighborhood. I saw, often in our yard, about every kind of CA. wildlife except Mtn. Lions. I had put out cat food to hopefully feed a stray cat, but what I saw, thru’ the sliding glass door, was a skunk and an opossum, usually at different times of night. (I know now cat food is a no no, but we had cats. ) One night I saw them show up at the same time, and I couldn’t understand why the opossum wouldn’t back off but she didn’t and she got sprayed. Right on target too because there was no scent around the next day. Soon I figured out both animals were pregnant, which might explain their determination. I was entranced by both critters and continued to put out leftovers and cat kibble and hoped they would bring their babies. I got to see little feet sticking out of the opossum’s pouch once, and the skunk and I became friendly and she brought all four kids many nights that spring, their little tails sticking straight up like bottle brushes. The cats and I would watch them thru’ the glass door. However, if we wanted to go on the patio at night, like to barbeque, we always called to the skunk as we opened the door just in case, which worked fine. One night, I forgot to put food out and saw the skunks and felt bad, so I warned mama skunk I was coming and I saw her herd all the babies to the edge of the patio under the potting table. Later I poked my head out the door to see if they had been there and she had herded all the babies to the other side of the patio, getting ready to eat and she or the babies made such a racket at me. I messed up her schedule. I ducked back inside and all was well. They never seemed to mind us watching them thru’ the glass or taking pictures. I tell everyone now, that I think skunks are very polite creatures, if you give them a chance. I even think opossums are ‘cute’ now. (I did taper off the feeding as the babies grew, so they would still learn to hunt and go off on their own.) I still miss them. If skunks were legal to keep in CA., I sure would have one.

  • Shawna-Rae

    What a wonderful show! Thank you PBS for showing my kids what I have tried to tell for many years! I was quite a fortunate kid. In my family, wild and/or “unique” animals were a constant treasure. One such treasure was our skunk “Thumper” (so named for the constant thumping of his front feet). Though thumping is normal for a skunk, Thumper took it to a whole new level – whenever we kids were misbehaving (which was a lot), Thumper would run to our mom and THUMP-THUMP-THUMPITY and tattle on us! He wouldn’t stop until mom came to see what we were doing. He was an amazing pet! He was not de-skunked, but never threatened us. Mom taught us early on to tuck his tail down (just in case). People may have thought we were nuts, but our skunk was a very cool pet!

    Shelby and Zachary were rescued babies. Their mother had been hit by a car, and my brother saved the two kits. They were a special edition to our home that taught us all a valuable lesson – skunk stink STINKS! My brother had let them out while I was not home, and couldn’t catch them to put them away. In his frustration (and stupidity) had grabbed a stick to “make them mind”. I came outside just as he grabbed the stick. Not thinking that our babies were old enough to defend themselves, I raced to my brother to stop him just as both kits fired. No matter how bad the skunk stink is when you are driving down the road, the first 15 minutes of a direct hit are worse than anything you could imagine! Especially when it’s DOUBLED! (I still love skunks, though) Thank you again, PBS, well done!

  • georgeanne the skunk lady

    I’m a city girl moved to the country. One summer day I spotted something under the deck and there were six baby skunks. So I played with them and they climbed on me. SO cute. I thought they might eat something so I put a bowl of eggs under the deck and that mother skunk came out of a crack in the foundation like a shot and I was face to face. She didn’t spray. I cemented the hole when they moved out. In the fall I woke up in the night wondering what that noise was, oh, it was just someone coughing. Okay, but I live alone. Now they were grown up and had torn the vent cover screen off and found another way under the part of the house with a crawl space. I got them to get out as they weren’t hibernating yet, so I built this frame and put a swinging door in it so they could get out but not in. They really tried and made a lot of noise one morning I spotted one out there and I pounded on the window and put my hand right through the glass. Not cut though. Then they dug a hole to China in my hill by the lake. But playing with those babies is just about the cutest thing ever.

  • Peggy

    When our dog got skunked, someone recommended bathing her with Massengill’s douche powder. We still laugh about my husband buying the biggest box and saying, It’s for my dog.

    By the way, it works way better than tomato juice.

  • Kevin

    I was surprised to find out that there is someone besides me that can not smell skunk.

  • Brittny

    I was at my family cabin and we had just finished fishing and my grandpa asked me to put the fishing poles away being my clumsey self I got all the fishing poles tangeled together in fear of getting in trouble I tried to un-tangle the mess it seemed i had been out there for hours and then i heard some noises by the garbage can looked behind me and I did not see anything so i went right back to the un-tangaling buisness then i felt something brush up against my leg thinking it was a cat i had played with earlier that day i did not pay attention or even look at what was rubbing against my leg then i heard a whisper from my mom through the screen door she said: ”If you move you are sleeping outside tonight” i look at the house and my whole family was pointing me in the direction to look down there were 3 skunks around me at that point i thought there was no way out but i stayed still and they left me luckily i did not get sprayed and by the way i was 13 at the time that was 12 years ago

  • Stephen Spencer

    My skunk experience was about 3 years ago in mid May.For a few days around Belle River Farms in Riley,MI , everyone had been smelling a skunk after the hay on one of the fields was being cut before it was groomed for a cross country equestrian course.Then one afternoon after the hay had been raked and baled I was already aware of a bale of hay that came in smelling like a skunk and left the barn with a slight aroma for a couple days ,but when a few of the boarders were out practicing on the cross country course before it was changed for an upcoming show,I was in the barn finishing daily cleanup and one of the girls came in freaking out due to some skunks walking the around and that it was upsetting their horses and my bosses mom happened to be around the barn at the time and she insisted that i euthanized the skunks for fear of somebody getting injured from the horse throwing them or a horse injuring themselves so I complied and after i had got out to the course i saw that the skunks were young like I suspected, they were weaned but still young, I was just doing as I was told even though I didn’t want to euthanize them. I only saw two so I did as I was told but after burying the skunks and really seeing how little and harmless they were I was absolutely distraught when I got home and it just about brought me to tears being as I had always loved and tried to keep any and all animals especially before we got a dog.

  • Meezer3

    My first real encounter with a “domesticated” skunk was many years ago. My father, a Pharmacist, use to take me to work with him on Sundays. The gentleman who owned the store kept a pet “de-skunked” skunk in a large cage in the back. I use to look forward to visiting him and they use to give him a glass egg to play with. That poor skunk spent hours trying to crack that darn egg and I use to sit and watch him…absolutely amazed by this pet skunk. :-) My father was a naturalist by heart and it was from him that I learned to -observe-, respect and love, the beauty of each and every unique living being on this wonderful world. Thank you Dad, I owe you SO much.

  • Ruth

    We have a local stray cat that loves to come and schmooze with the yorkie pups we have. One morning at five a.m. I had taken them out and the cat, of course, decided to schmooze with one pup. The other pup was running around and I heard him bark. I turned to see him with a skunk backed up against the wall of the house. I’m sure the pup thought he was some sort of strange looking kittie. The skunk knew what he was and what he was about to do, and he did it. With a “No NO Puppy” I ran and scooped the pup up and ran into the house.. Although neither he nor I directly received the spray, the puppy smelled to high heaven. It took a while to get the smell neutralized. Now when I take the dogs out, I keep an eye out for our stinky neighbor.

  • chris

    My skunk experience is the fact I never met one, particularly in the wild : )

  • Laura Mitchell

    Well one time I was staying the night at one of my friends house, and she lived on kind of a farm you could say she had horses. But anyways, my friend, Jolene, and I were in the house watching movies and playing games just relaxing, and the next thing you know we hear Jolene’s brother; Clayton screaming: “SKUNK! THERES A SKUNK AHHHHHHH!” and Jolene and I heard him and we went out onto the porch and saw Clayton running up to us, “Theres a skunk!!” And we went and turned the corner and there it was runnnig off!!! Gosh did we get lucky! Clayton coulda got sprayed, well we could have to! haha. It was a really fun day to, despite the encounter with the skunk! (((:

  • James

    This actually only happened yesterday. I was walking to school with my girlfriend. Well in order to get to school we have to walk through the woods. We are in middle school in seventh grade so we can’t be late. As we were walking, we saw something move in the bushes. My girlfriend says, “Hey James, go check it out.” So I go and what do I find? Two skunks, probably a mother and a father, and eight babies. Horrified, I spring back and they all come out at me. “Oh my god!!!!!!!!” My girlfriend screams. This startled the skunks, so they gave her a full blast EVERYWHERE. So she absolutely reeked and I didn’t know what to do. My stinky girlfriend was crying and she smelled so bad I actually threw up. I screamed, “JUST GO AWAY!!!!” to the skunks, and they didn’t like that very much. They gave me the same bit my girlfriend got. We had no choice but to go to school and the minute we walked into class our classmates were like, “P.U.!!!!” Then the teacher walked in and asked, “What is that putrid odor?” And singled my girlfriend and I out. She demanded we go to the nurse and change clothes. It was no use because we were pretty much dripping wet from skunk musk and everyone we tried on got stink-ified. My mom and dad were at work without there cell phones, and my girlfriend’s mom and dad were at work too. We had no choice but to stay in school, reeking like we swam in the sewer. We had to sit alone at a lunch table and got made fun of all day. I don’t think this putrid stink is ever going to come out, and when my mom and dad come home their stinky son is going to have to tell them a tale. :P

  • Chip Burton

    Several years ago I took my family to Busch Gardens in Williamburg VA and we stayed in a local campground. After a LONG day at the park, we came back and I put the kids to bed. Not quite ready for bed yet, I decided to go out to the screened-in picnic table to have a beer. We had slung a plastic trash bag over the end of the picnic table for our scraps and trash. I turned-on the radio, opened a beer and sat on the end of the picnic table, straddling the trash bag to enjoy my beer and the music. I nursed that beer for a little over 30 minutes and when I opened the trash bag between my legs to deposit the now-empty can…an absolutely HUGE striped skunk came up and out of the bag, jumped down on the ground and beat a hasty retreat under the skirting of the screen enclosure and off through the campground. I never heard him or smelled him the whole time I was there, but when he came out…it scared the begeezuz out of me. He got some good scraps and I got a vivid adrenaline surge, but nothing else.

  • Stevie Leonard

    James, I know EXACTLY how u feel, and trust me it REEKS!!! I have been sprayed 27+ times!

  • James

    Thank you for your understanding! Haha. I just got in the tub the next day and even from when I wrote that I smell no different. I gag just about everyone around.

  • tim mcnally

    Axel is my pet and over the weekend while i was not paying attention he managed to get into our cat food stores that we donate to no kill animal shelters. so i noticed and grabbed him…he began to choke…i kept pulling slime out of his mouth but he kept choking…skunks breathe through there nose…Axels nose was clogged so i was forced to make a decision…since i could not contact my vet…it was up to me to rescue what i consider to be one of my best friends…also keep in mind im a med school drop out…since the slime was producing faster then me and my wife could remove it…i sucked it out of his nose with my mouth…and yes it was horrible…after removing most of the slime and spitting it in the sink…Axel began to breathe on his own…i had to do this repeatedly…where is he now?…walking around looking for trouble as usual…a big thanks to deb of skunk haven inc for taking the time to talk to me and helping me to get Axel stable…yes the apple juice worked and everything is fine again…as for supplements i have all mine compounded in a suspension format with extra virgin olive…d3 and taurine…i will say having a skunk is like having a child…we have to watch every move…also its still a mystery to me how he was able to gain access to the food at all…he not only unlocked a cat door but was able to bypass a security fence. TIM

  • Arly Benitez

    once when i was going to my cousins house i ws playing.then when i got out to open the door two skunks were right in front of me.luckily i didnt get sprayed.but i was so close i could have gotten sprayed.or the time when i was in my other cousin s house and there was a skunk in there backyard

  • Jennifer Grimes

    My dog got sprayed in the face (he is a West Highland Terrier) The skunk burned his eyes real bad and our house really got skunked by it even after trimming and cleaning my dog. My dog will not go out at night anymore by himself and it is annoying for me. So I carry a spray bottle filled with listerine so if I get sprayed I give it right back. My poor dog thought it was a cat I am sure because a black cat comes in the yard now and the. Very annoying. Hope the skunk got hit by a car!

  • Greg Norton

    I was driving to work one morning when I noticed something in the road. I slowed down because I never want to hit an animal as I am an animal lover. I got out of my van and walked up to a skunk in the middle of the road with a yoplait yogurt container stuck on its head. It was trying to frantically get it off with no luck. A skunks forelegs are not long enough to get the reach that it needs in order to pull the container off of its head. I realized I was this little guys only hope. I reached down and started to pull at the container as he planted his legs to push away so we worked in unison to pop this thing off. It came off of his head and he looked up at me. For a second I realized how vulnerable I was at this point . Instead of him doing what people usually think they do, he instead locked eyes with me and then trotted off into the woods in a sort of a “hey thanks” kind of gesture. I started walking back to my van and all of the sudden I heard a sort of a clapping noise. I looked over and here a lady had been watching me the whole time and said “thank you so much for doing that” I drove off knowing I had a smelly friend who was very grateful.

  • Eric Bartels

    Nothing causes frantic commotion like skunk spray, as I learned when I was about 14 years old. We lived in northern Michigan at the time, and it was about 6:00a.m. when I got up for school and headed downstairs to let the dog outside. Dad was asleep on the couch and my sisters were asleep in their rooms. Our dog Nikki was about a 90 pound Husky/Shepherd mix, and was almost as big as I was. She had to be tied up outside or else she’d run off into the woods to wreak havoc on “God know’s what”.
    I grabbed her collar and opened the door into the back shed, leading her through to the outer door. I threw the latch on the outer door and we stepped outside into the pre-dawn darkness. (I remember the air smelled clean and fresh…) We rounded the corner where Nikki’s chain was lying on the ground, and suddenly Nikki bristled and lurched forward, yanking me down to the ground hard…Thump! I (amazingly) still had her collar in my left hand, and here she is thrashing about trying to get at something, stomping all over me in the process. I looked up and saw that I was eye level with a little skunk, about four feet away. JUST out of reach of Nikki’s jaws.
    Time slowed down here. Literally, it was like I could nothing but watch the performance the little guy put on. I’ve read these stories about skunks having character and it’s true, very amazing…especially at eye level! First he darted right, then he came back left and kind of looked around frantically. (Sort of like he had misplaced car keys or something…) Then he just seemed to go acrobatic on us. He stood on his front legs about 3-4 feet away and BACKED UP a bit, trying to align his rear end just so, and PSSSSTT! Sprayed me right in the eyes, and Nikki on the side of her face. Then he bounded away and out of sight. All of this happened in probably 2-3 seconds.

    What pain! I thought I was going to be blind, and since I was fairly young, it scared me. It was a caustic, oily-feeling, searing pain in my eyes and the smell was UNBELIEVABLE. The dog was crying, too and rubbing her face. So I did what most young men do when they’ve been blinded by an animal. I screamed. I screamed so loud my dog got scared. They could probably hear me in the next county. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Survival instincts take over when you’re blind. (GET TO SAFETY!) So, with dog in grasp I picked my way back inside the shed to the kitchen door and kicked it open. BOOM! My Dad had heard the screams and jumped off the couch. (Our neighbor had heard me yell and thought someone had been fatally wounded…just my pride.) I stood there in the open doorway and Dad said something like, “What the…?” Then he smelled it, and then I let the dog go…
    She ran up on the couch rubbing and slobbering all over everything, then down to the floor to rub and slobber some more. Meanwhile my vision was slowly coming back, but the smell was so powerful on my face. I felt like a walking skunk gland that just got pepper-sprayed.
    Dad hustles me off to the bathroom where I strip and jump into the shower. MISTAKE. If you do this, use luke warm water, not any hotter than that. I was still in survival mode so I was thinking GO TO WHAT IS COMFORTABLE, A NICE HOT SHOWER SHOULD WORK. Well, the steam picked up the skunk odor, carried it out of the bathroom and applied it to every surface in the house! Dad came back in with tomato juice for me to wash with. (There is no way to describe the weirdness of being half-blind and naked in a steam filled environment, with skunk and tomato juice permeating your very being.) Dad eventually came in and said to cut the hot water because the smell was unbearable.
    When the school bus came by about twenty minutes later, they could still smell the skunk when my sister got on. Actually, I believe the kids smelled it on her, too. I didn’t go to school for a few days. I sat home and stunk. When I went back to school I still smelled, so I had to suck it up and play the part. I told the story so many times at school it got old, but people still wanted to hear it because it is unusual that a person gets sprayed in the eyes/face so directly at such close range. (I kind of liked the attention, my teachers seemed to like the story the best.)
    I’ve not had any eye problems after that. My vision is fine. I have some advice, though. Install outdoor lighting. You want to avoid the hassle, believe me! I don’t hold the skunk responsible either. He was just doing his thing. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have such a unique story to tell. Thanks, little buddy!

  • Eric Bartels

    Nothing causes commotion like skunks do. I learned this when I was about 14 years old. It was about 6:30 a.m. I had gotten up for school and went downstairs to let our dog out. My Dad was asleep on the couch and my sisters were asleep in their rooms. I went into the kitchen where Nikki, our 90lb. Husky/Shepherd dog was eagerly waiting. Since Nikki was part Husky she had that natural “call of the wild”, so we had to put her on a chain in the backyard. Otherwise she’d run off into the woods and terrorize the animal kingdom.
    So, I held her collar and opened the door into the back shed. I led her through and we got to the outer door and I threw the latch and opened it. It was late spring in northern Michigan, still dark outside, and I remember the air smelled nice and clean.
    We rounded the corner of the house where her chain was and suddenly she bristled and lurched forward, pulling me down to the ground. THUMP! (She was STRONG.) I didn’t let go of her collar so she was straining and bucking wildly trying to get free. (Meanwhile I’m getting stomped on and my arm is being wrenched out of the socket like I’m fighting a marlin.) I looked up and saw a little skunk about four feet away.
    Time slowed down here. My eyes locked on the skunk and I have never felt more vulnerable…laying on the ground, staring at a creature I never wanted to meet face to face. People say that skunks have a lot of character and they’re right. That little guy put on a show. First he started to run to the left. Then he came back to the right, acting like he had misplaced something important. Then he stood staring at us and turned his back on us, quickly jumping onto his front legs and sticking his rear end at us.(I could only watch in horror, it was my only defense.) Suddenly, an audible “PSSSSST” and he sprayed me directly in the face. Then he bounded away, undoubtedly pleased with himself. The whole thing lasted about 2-3 seconds, but I’ll never forget that sequence.
    PAIN!! Blinding pain is all I could feel. Then the smell hit me like a freight train, enveloping my nose and throat. The dog was crying, she had gotten it as well, and was rubbing at her face with her paws. I was literally blinded, and it scared me because I was fairly young. So I did the natural thing…the thing that all young men do after being blinded. I screamed. I screamed so loud that my neighbor later told my dad he thought someone was being killed!
    You could have heard me in the next county! “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
    I kicked into survival mode. GET TO SAFETY! I stumbled blindly back to the door, STILL holding the dog’s collar. We went back in through the shed and I kicked open the kitchen door. BOOOM! Dad was already up and off the couch, saying something like, “What the h…?” Then the smell hit him and he knew. I also picked that moment to finally let go of Nikki, who was more than happy to run into the living room and start rubbing her “skunkface” all over the couch, the chairs, the carpet, the couch again, etc.
    My vision was slowly coming back, the light from the kitchen hurt, though. At that moment I felt totally helpless and I don’t remember much except seeing Nikki racing around the house rubbing on everything and my sister trying to corral her. Dad was hustling me off to the bathroom, barking orders and trying not to gag. I felt like a walking skunk gland that had just been pepper-sprayed in the eyes. I can’t think of a better description than that.
    I jumped into the shower, taking off clothes and trying to flush out my eyes at the same time. I mistakenly turned the water on hot, for comfort. That was a bad mistake because the steam picked up that odor and carried it all over the house, depositing it on everything. Dad finally came in with tomato juice for me to wash with. Strange memory that is. The smell of skunk mixed with soap in a steamy environment…then I’m handed tomato juice and told to wash with it. It was like a bad cooking episode, and the tomato juice did not work at all. I think I had so much spray on me that nothing could cut it. (Dad finally came in and told me to knock down the hot water because the steam was unbearable!)
    When the school bus came 20 minutes later all the kids smelled it, and my sister smelled like skunk when she got to school. I did not go to school for a few days. I stayed home with Nikki and we both just sat there stinking and sometimes I think I’d catch her looking at me funny, as though it were my fault we both stunk.
    When I went back to school I had to tell that story a million times, and the teachers liked it best. I still smelled bad but I just had to suck it up and play the part. My vision came back strong, though. No problems. I don’t blame the skunk, I like skunks. Now I feel that much closer to them. If he hadn’t sprayed me, I wouldn’t have such a funny and unique story. Thanks, little buddy! Small piece of advice: Install outdoor lighting and avoid the hassle altogether.

  • sue ferm

    Wow! So nice to read about you skunk friends. Unfortunately, great horned owls have moved into my neighborhood and have killed skunks all spring, summer and fall.I just smelled one this morning. I hate those owls for killing these sweet gentle creatures!

  • Sigrid

    2 quick stories — Years ago in Canada the next door neighbors had a skunk family living under their house. You never smelled them. She didn’t try to have them removed. She just said ‘as long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you’. We would sit out on the porch in the evening and watch them set out to forage. The would walk in a straight line down the street as starters, heading for wherever it was they liked to go. A big male in front, then a female, then several kits….That is the one thing that did suprize me about the show. They said the mother kept the males away so they wouldn’t eat the babies. This was an actual whole family living together. — 2) My husband stayed for a couple of days with some friends that to his surprize had a ‘loaded’ pet skunk named Fat Albert’. It would crawl up in bed with him at night sometimes and would sometimes nip if he moved around too much and disturbed it. Albert’s favorite place was under the bathroom sink. One night a violent thunder storm came up and he shuffled out to see what was going on. A close lightning strike lit up the room with the flash and startled it. He sprayed down the suddenly brilliantly white toilet that lit up behind him.

  • Bruno Ganfield

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  • shirley hines

    I just watched Is That Skunk? and was intrigued when they talked about skunks hanging out with cats. I live near the river in Sacramento and have seen a lot of skunks here including one that went into my garage and another that was standing on my back doorstep. I have an outdoor cat and have had the impression that she is friendly with skunks. Last night I drove into my driveway and there was my cat and a skunk standing close together looking at me. She DOES hang out with skunks.

  • Tybron

    Just got sprayed by a very cute young adult skunk last night while walking through the park. The little guy had surprisingly good aim, he sprinkled my shoes and pants and heavily splashed my shirt and face (though barely missed my eyes thankfully!) As I walked home I could tell I was very potent, everyone in the area around me must’ve been able to smell me for a while! I also contaminated my whole house when I got home, much to my roommate’s chagrin.

    Since I really enjoy the scent of skunk I’m keeping the sprayed clothing for my own enjoyment but obviously will have to deodorize my shoes and belt if I want to go out in public like this! :-P

  • Samantha

    I live in a residential area and I have some skunks who come to “visit” just right around dusk . They hang out on or under my back deck and scrounge for cat or dog crunchies. (I don’t feed them but I do feed some abandoned cats). They have even come in through the cat door, allthough that isn’t really encouraged. If they come in I just tell them to leave and they turn around and go back out the kitty door. They seem to be pretty intelligent. There has only been one spraying incident in 11 years. (I think 2 skunks got in a fight over something). If bothered they stomp their feet. They are out there in the yard or near the deck as I move the sprinklers in the evening. We get along fine together. They even bring their babies over to visit. One comes year after year and I get to to see the babies grow up. The cats are totally fine with them… although I did have one kitty that wanted to play with the skunks tail and I had to nip that in the bud. I think the babies are about the cutest animals ever

  • Barb Brandt

    I lived in a field next to a lake and the Delaware River. I learned quickly that I lived with many wild animals and spent 8 years keeping a journal about all of them. My house mates were a family of skunks. When I arrived home after a long commute, the mom skunk with rush across the long walk to the cottage and disappear under the front porch. I would put out vanilla wafers which were favorites of skunks I learned. When I turned on the vacuum to clean I was usually greeted with a slight oder but soon they got used to the noise. One day the mom skunk was killed on Rt. 611 and her children became mine. Every night they would spend their time in my gardens or under pine trees catching insects. Sometimes they would have huge arguments about a find and I would get out of bed with my flash light, go outside and tell them loudly it was enough!. They always listened. They never sprayed. And they hung out by my bedroom window for safety. I also had a duck and he had a house on the porch and disliked them very much but they adored him because he was warm. I loved them.

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  • Lisa

    I was at my moms house, and she had put out some left over food on her back porch for a stray cat she had seen. The cat came and ate, politely as cats do. Then we saw a skunk walk up the steps to the porch and ate with the cat out of the same plate. The skunk also ate politely, in small portions, and all was well. Next we see a possum comming up the steps. Possums eat a little messy. This one was grabbing food with his “hands” and shoving the food in his mouth. The cat had enough, and left. The skunk watched for a few seconds and got visibly upset. We thought, this is it! He’s going to spray him and the house along with him! But instead, the skunk just pounced his front feet near the possum, as if to shoo him away. The possum then used the ole “Oh… you killed me!” trick and rolled over on his back. Then while the skunk kept on eating, the possum stretched a hand out, got a piece of bread and walked down the steps with it. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I never have my video camera when you need it!

  • Lisa

    What works best to remove skunk spray is concoction of:

    1) Dawn dishwashing detergent (or any grease cutting detergent, since the spray is oily)
    2) Baking Soda
    3) Hydrogen Paroxide

    I usually keep all these 3 and a bucket in the bathroom. You have to mix them right before you use them. I am always in such a hurry that I just put in a little of each in the bucket, I dont measure. One of my dogs really hates the skunk smell and learned his lesson after one time. The other 2, not so much. So, I have had to do this about 20 times and it always works. Also, I have noticed that they never get sprayed “all over”. It’s almost as if they are getting a squirt of it. I’m not too affected by the smell, so I can smell around to see where its coming from on the dog. Usually, its one small spot – Like the size of a dime. And usually its right between the eyes. Sometimes one in between the eyes or head, and one on the chest somewhere. I just put that concoction on the spot (rince and repeat about 3 times) and it instantly takes the smell away. You can still smell it, if you forget and go kiss them. But it goes from stinking up the entire house, to having to actually put your nose right up on them to smell it. Also, be careful not to get that in their eyes.

  • Mary

    Out neighbor had a wooden deck and skunks lived and bred under it for many years. Then they would come through the fence to my yard. One night a kit got separated from it’s mom and my son used his soccer techniques to guide the baby back to mom and siblings. He didn’t kick it, but he put up foot blocks to guide the little critter out of the yard and down to a neighbors driveway where mom and the rest were waiting. There was a pecking order in my back yard. Possums would clear out for the raccoons, and raccoons would clear out for the skunks. But all the babies would eat right along side my cats. Got the pictures to prove it.

  • Angelica Jayne Taggart

    Years ago, while living in Glendale, CA, I saw a baby skunk sitting by a dead mother on the road. I jumped out with my sweater & grabbed it, and took it home. I named him Loki … he was so cute!! He got along with my cats quite well.
    He only sprayed once — I had a paper grocery bag on the kitchen floor, he walked in, and one of the cats jumped on the bag — I grabbed that bag and took it outside — and watched out the window as he came out of the bag shaking his head. I washed him in tomato juice.
    I called almost every vet in the book and finally found one that would de-scent him — but unfortunately my neighbor called the humane society, and they came, took him away and killed him. I was heartbroken.
    Skunks have a cat/dog personality. Love to play and are very affectionate. I’ve always wanted another one.

  • Korienna Guzowski

    My first encounter with a skunk was just a few weeks ago when my fiance accidentally trapped a skunk in our barn. He was attempting to trap a raccoon that took up residence. My fiance knows what an animal lover I am so he didn’t want to kill the poor thing. I called animal control but they only told me how to release the skunk without getting sprayed. Crazy! I practiced releasing the spring load trap on an empty trap before attempting the release of our little prisoner. It wasn’t working. So I did it my own way. With a whole lot of patience…I covered the trap with a very large tarp, turned the trap very slowly so as not to cause panic with the skunk, when the trap was upside down I pulled the door down while lowering a piece of plywood to block the entrance. Once the door was all the way down I placed a heavy rock on it, removed the plywood and RAN! After a few minutes the skunk poked it’s nose out and then scurried into the brush. I was very excited and shared my news with all my neighbors. I live in the country…they call me a city transplant. Now they just call me crazy! I don’t care. I rescued the skunk and I didn’t get sprayed. Not too shabby for a city girl :)

  • Jana

    Recently, my dad saw a skunk on our property, thought it was cute and took several pictures. It was the most exciting thing around here in a long time. Before bed, I walked the dog without even thinking about it. On the show tonight, the narrarator said “only when a skunk is surprized” will it spray. My little dog saw movement in the grass, and boy was that skunk surprized. My little dog didn’t know what hit her. I washed her as best I could with tomato juice, but left the groomer an urgent voicemail to call me first thing in the morning. She said the next day, “It’s not very often I get a grooming emergency! I knew when I got a call at midnight that something big had happened.”

  • L. Carroll

    We used to drive home from my grandparents every weekend through a game preserve. My father loved animals and taught all of us so much. One drive back, toward dusk, there was a skunk with three babies crossing the road in front of the car. My father stops the car, gets out, and starts following the skunk family and disappears into the woods. He reappears a few minutes later with all of us certain he is coming back to the car smelling terribly. He got back in the car without the familiar stench we expected and proceeded to tell us that a skunk will not spray unless it is cornered or frightened. A lesson I will never forget.

  • Dean Morrison

    one in camp at nighti was sleeping and woke up in middle of night looked up and there it was a foot away from my sleepingbag in the campsite I watched as it walked right by I didn’t scream or freak out but after it went away I told a counslor and they started to some freak out when told and I said something like this “I just seen a skunk” they freak out looking for it, but then tell them it already left went back to sleep. HAHAHA! :]

  • Mary M

    My skunk tale began in August 1965, a few days after I was born. I am the youngest of four, my oldest brother being 10 years my senior. When my mom first brought me home from the hospital, my older siblings gathered around for my first diaper change at home. My oldest brother commented that I smelled like a skunk and it stuck. From that day forward I was called either Skunky or Skunks. It wasn’t until my later twenties that my family started calling me by my given name. My father called me by my nickname until the day he passed.

  • Jana

    My dog got sprayed late at night. The groomer was surprized to recieve an emergency call at 1:00 in the morning!

  • Tanya Williams

    When I lived in the Poconos in Pennsylvania, skunks were plentiful. One night when I went down in our basement and looked out the sliding glass doors, I saw our black and white cat eating his cat food right next to a skunk, who was eating out of the other side of the dish! I should have had my camera. I don’t think I will ever forget that.

  • Eileen

    My Chihuahua decided to chase a “black & white kitty” one evening. He got sprayed in the face. I used the baking soda/peroxide/doggie shampoo mixture and it worked great! Skunk smell disappeared completely.

  • Eve Hershkowitz

    When I bought a house in Bergen County, New Jersey back in the mid-1980s, I inherited a family of raccoons that lived in the fireplace. I love animals, and got into the habit of feeding them, once the babies were old enough for the mother to take them on forays. I occassionally also had possum & skunks coming as well, to the nightly banquet. The raccoons became trusting enough to eat from my hand, but the possum were too timid & would run away at the first sound by the door. The skunks were somewhere in the middle, and if they got to the deck before the food was put out, they’d go to the far corner of the deck, and allow me to slowly bring the food out to them. I guess I’d let them get a good whiff of the food, before venturing too far from the door.

    I was amazed at my cat’s reaction to the wildlife outside .. confirmed by your program! One time when a family of racoons was outside, and came close to the closed sliding door, the cat virtually launched herself across the room & into the door, frightening the raccoons away. But it was totally different when the skunk came! The cat would quietly go to her side of the sliding door, and sit watching the skunk eat. And when the skunk finished eating, he’d come over to the sliding door, and sit on his side watching the cat. They might sit like that for 10 minutes, watching each other on opposite sides of the glass door, like comfortable old friends, before the skunk would venture back into the darkness of the backyard.

  • Gerry Waterhouse

    We lived in a nice city neighborhood of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. One very hot July evening, still light out, I heard a loud splash while I was working in my back yard. I turned around to see a family of skunks in my in-ground pool. An adult and 3 kits and just jumped in at one of the corners. They casually swam the length of the pool (32 feet) all in a row and then calmly climbed out the other corner. Then, nicely cooled off, they ambled away and left my yard through a corner of the fence, all the time paying no attention to me watching them from only a few feet away.

  • Karl stammer

    We had friends years ago that owned a de-scented skunk and a landromat. In the laundromat was a popcorn machine,and frequently in the popcorn machine was Tinker, happily munching away! It took some getting used to by us patrons.

  • Jolene

    Since I’ve lived in my home in Colorado, my dog has killed 3 skunks and injured 3 others. Two nights in a row my husband and I have woken to the most putrid smell of skunk in our house. I’m not sure which is worse, our stupid dog for allowing himself to be sprayed repeatedly just so he can “get the kill,” or the skunks who keep finding a way to get into our yard with a unfazed dog on the loose. I will say, I’m very thankful for the good people that have helped remove the “still live” skunks from our yard as they raise their tails for the spray!

  • Peg Moore

    While we were watching the show on Nature about skunks tonight,I said to my husband,Ron,it would be funny if the skunk sprayed tonight [as it usually did a few times a week somewhere outside]. I no sooner said it and we smelled the scent of our mysterious friend. We laughed and commented on our smell-a-vision.

  • Diane

    I live in the country & leave dry food out for my cats all the time. This has attracted many skunks,racoons & possums. The skunks have always gotten along great with the cats but seem competetive with the other “wild”life. People i work with don’t believe me when i say i can walk out the back door to my truck to get stuff & back again with a skunk or 2 eating about 2 feet from me with no problems at all. One night i heard something scratching at the glass on my back french doors. Thinking it was one of my cats wanting in i had my hand on the knob when i decided to turn on the light to see who it was. I was very thankful i did cause it wasn’t a cat but a skunk wanting in! If i hadn’t looked first i would have had to figure how to get it back outside without being sprayed! I always enjoyed watching them and could recognize several of them by their stripes. One with a crippled foot would come every day for about a year,sometimes before dark to beat the others there i assumed. I was sad when it stopped coming, i figure its disability finally cost it it’s life. p.s. i actually like the smell of skunk.

  • Keith Schallenkamp

    In the summer of 1983 I was training at Ft. Sill, OK as a new Lieutenant. It was a bright moonlit night and we had an hour or two between missions to get a little sleep so I layed my sleeping bag out on the ground crawled into it and pulled my poncho over it to keep the dew off. I was just nodding off to sleep when I felt a nudge. I looked down and there was a skunk sniffin around me. Now I grew up in South Dakota hunting and fishing, so I had many previous encounters with skunks so I just remained very still. Suddenly the litte critter jumped on top of me, walked down to my feet and sniffed around. It then turned and made it’s way up to my to my head and began sniffing around my face like a dog or cat. I could feel its wet nose probing my eye sockets, nose, ears etc. It then turned again and curled up right on my chest and went to sleep. I remained calm and still and began to fall asleep again myself. After about an hour it stirred, stretched and yawned, I could see it clearly the whole time, and then jumped off of my chest and trotted away and I went back to sleep. I always had cats and dogs that slept with me in my bed when I was growing up, so having an animal sleeping on my chest was not a new experience. I suspect this and my trapping knowledge of skunks was what saved me from being sprayed.

  • Steve Arbury

    I had a friend who lived on Cape Cod. She was a hefty 60-year-old woman who one night saw a skunk in her back yard with its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar. She wanted to help it, but she didn’t want her clothes ruined. So she stripped naked, went out into the summer night, and carefully removed the jar from around the skunk’s head. The skunk did not spray her. Once freed, the skunk ran to the far edge of the yard and then sprayed — it was as though he just had to spray, but was doing his best not to spray his liberator.

  • laurie larson

    a few years ago, i was driving through my city’s quiet streets with a few friends. at an intersection, i noticed a critter crossing the road in a zig-zag manner. i parked my car at the curb, got out and went to investigate the critter. mr. skunk had apparently discovered a take-out paper cup with a clear plastic ring still attached to the rim and he was unable to see. well i knew i had to help the li’l guy so i firmly grabbed the cup’s base and yanked… off it came and off he ran! my friends couldn’t believe i wasn’t sprayed.

  • Ryan Witmer

    In your show, you said that nobody had contracted rabies from a skunk for decades. I am sorry to tell you that is not true. As a keeper at a rehab/zoo in Kansas, I helped raise an abandoned striped skunk baby. We had it from just a few weeks old. After several months, the skunk became suddenly vicious & bit me several times. Unfortunately, the change of behavior was due to rabies, that it most likely got from its mother (something that does happen in skunks). I had to go in for post-exposure shots & our poor skunk was euthanized.

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  • Shirley Christian

    While living in a garden apartment in the Los Angeles hills, I woke up one night hearing the metal cat food bowl in my kitchen being knocked around. I didn’t pay any attention until I realized my two Siamese cats never do this. I went into the kitchen, turned on the light, and there were two baby skunks — looking as startled as I was — looking up at me. I quickly turned out the light, went back to bed and hoped they would eventually go back out though the cat door, which they did, walking right past my two cats who didn’t bother with the little intruders. I’ll never forget those two adorable faces looking up at me.

  • Karen Simons

    When I was a child, my parents owned and operated a small log-cabin motel in Western Montana. Number 4 cabin was rented one evening by a lovely couple traveling through the country. My dad had left the crawl space door open on Number 4 to air out during the summer, and on this particular night, a skunk and SOMETHING ELSE met under there and had a big fight right under their bed!

    In just a few minutes, this poor skunk-ized couple had thrown their clothes in a suitcase, grabbed their bags and were in their car. They stopped about 1/4 mile away to put their clothes on and had many great laughs about their 4 a.m. “wake up call”. My poor mother was horrified when she opened the door to serious skunk odor. Two weeks later, the couple stopped and rented a DIFFERENT cabin on their way home and told the story to my parents.

    Essence of skunk lingered long after the tourist season ended!

  • della clark

    I have 3 teens and we watch your program often, I accually think 2 of them are going to take some kind of animal courses in collage. When I saw this skunk story we laughed over and over again. The story I’m sending in is why and I have told it over and over again. We live in the country on top of a hill, across from a farm house. Traffic is very high paced and I have seen alot of animals killed on our road. When my daughter was 7, the boys were 8 and 9, i saw a baby skunk in the farmers yard across from us, it was pacing back and forth, back and forth, I yelled at the kids to come see it, you could tell it’s momma was gone, probably dead on the road somewhere, but I was worried to death it was comming onto the road, we watched and I prayed and it turned and went into the farmers barn, what a releif. Next morning I get up and my daughter was sitting at the picnic table rocking her baby, I said what are you doing? She said rocking my baby mommy come see him, the closer I got I realized it had fur so I thought cat, the closer I got I realized PEE YOUUUU !! Somehow my 7 year old had caught that baby skuck and she had it in a blanket sleeping in her arms, it was in heaven, I said Carrie put him down he STINKS !, she looked up and me and said mommy all babies stink, well I couldn’t argue with that so I let her keep the skunk for a couple days until I could get a friend who lived out further in the country to come pick him up. He released him on his property no where near a road so I know it went to a safe place. I will just never forget how comfortable that baby skunk looked in her arms, her defence was so innicent and so true. !!!

  • Kelsey Lucardie

    When I was 12 I was on my way to the neighbors pasture to feed my horse when I saw what I thought was a cat. I was racing the neighbor boy so I was running and jumped over the “cat” only to get sprayed by what was actually a skunk. My legs were covered and the spray burned and the smell was unbelievably strong, completely different than when smelled from a distance.
    I screamed and cried while running home. My mom ran to the store for gallons if tomato products and I took multiple baths in tomato
    At school for the next month my nickname became “flower”. To this day, the smell of skunk turns my stomach and my husband and kids roll their eyes as I recount my trauma for the umpteenth time!

  • Catalina Aguilar

    I live in San Diego, California in a neighborhood surrounded by canyons, and so skunks are our constant neighbors.
    They often come into my yard at night, in search of dog food and water. I always put the dog bowls away at dusk but the water stays out and so our dogs have had several “episodes” with skunks . My present dogs have learned to ignore them and stay in their dog house.
    But, I used to have a Springer spaniel named Lucy who was very stubborn and territorial. I remember that one summer she got “skunked” every night for about a week, (until she learned to stay in her dog house and ignore the skunks).
    I had to mix up the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish soap every morning for that week!
    It was a hard lesson for her but I became the person people always seek out for the “skunk recipe” .

  • linda

    I live in the mountains of Virginia. My house is surrounded by forest and at dusk the skunks come out to see what they can find in my yard. I have a bird feeder and corcob feeder for the squirrels hanging from a tree so I’m sure there’s plenty of treats for them to find. I love and welcome all animals to my yard as they are mostly all beneficial in some way. At night i sit on my back porch and watch the skunks forage. One night as i sat there i heard a soft sound in the grass about 2 feet away from me to my right. It was a skunk and he seemed to be just sitting there, hanging out and enjoying the night as i was. I spoke to him softly and said “Hey buddy, whatcha doin?” He didnt seem started by my voice at all. I could see by the light coming through the storm door that he even turned his head to look in my direction. We sat in silnce this way for a few minutes before he lumbered toward the bird feeder to eat. It was a very cool moment and i loved ‘hanging out’ with the skunk. It was only until the next day that i wondered what would have happend if one of my roommates had chosen that moment to burst out the back door.

  • Kyle

    Okay so u guys wanna here a good skunk story? This happened only two weeks ago! So… I live in Cali and decided to go help out my uncle on his farm, now this farm had EVERYTHING that was depicted in the movies! You got your old house and a few hundred yards is your barn, where he’s got about three horses! So I am helping my uncle on some crops! And after about 5 maybe 6 hours of work my uncle hands me his old like 1 MP camera, this thing was old! And he says “okay Kyle I think I can manage the rest, why don’t you take some facebook pictures or something, whatever you guys are on nowadays” And this excited me because I LOVE photography! So I got to the barn, I wanted to start there and I take some pictures of some horses, they are beautiful animals! And after that I hear a little rustle in the hay pile behind me, so I turn around kinda quickly, lol i’m paranoid! And eating some of the hay, yeah a big female striped skunk, a beautiful animal! So unlike most people who would run I thought “hey skunks warn you when they’re gonna spray right?” I could get the perfect picture, I did too! So I kinda scare the skunk and it stomps its feet, does all the warnings right? Then when it points its butt at me, I snap a great pic! Unfortunately i was too late! This skunk had its tail straight up and when i took the picture the camera actually made a loud sound and flashed at the already aggravated skunk! So she sprayed me down and as soon as she finished I dropped the camera and fell to the floor! I couldn’t breathe for abut two minutes and I was gagging and my eyes were burning so bad! She let me have it good! So I get up in about half an hour and my eyes can barely open, now the stink is coming to me! Wooh I see why they call the skunks, it rhymes with stunk which is exactly what i was! I got up, went to the house and my uncle gave me the ingredients it said on this show! And i got a sleeping bag and slept in the farm with the horses! Here’s the pic! file:///Users/stevieleonard/Desktop/-2.png

  • Ken Henry

    Many years ago, when I was a young biology teacher, my friends and I would gather on Friday evenings at a local tavern to relieve the pressures of the work week. One evening in the fall, I left the tavern at about 10:00pm and as I crossed the parking lot I saw a skunk running behind my car. I had always heard, that in order for a skunk to spray you, he has to have both feet planted squarely on the ground so he can squeeze his spray mechanism. I had been told at one time that if you hold a skunk by his tale, he can not spray because his feet are off the ground. Having had a few brews that evening, I quickly decided to seize the opportunity and test out that theory. The chase was on and when I finally caught up to him I quickly snatched him off the ground by his tale and held him up at arms length. After holding him for a short period of time, I decided that, since he was not spraying me, I would take him back into the tavern and show everyone that skunk’s can not spray when held by their tale with their feet off the ground. Some people laughed and pointed, others hollered and scattered and the barmaid, that I knew very well, yelled at me and said ” Oh my god-Henry, get that skunk out of here now”! I returned it to tha parking lot, put it gently back down on the ground and it continued on it’s way. As I continued on my way home, the thought hit me-what if I had accidently dropped the skunk in the tavern.

  • Marynel

    Late in 1998, we bought an old 60′ house trailer to camp in on our retirement property until we got a house built. My husband replaced the windows and patched a few holes. The first night we stayed in it, I got up to make a bathroom run in the wee hours. As I entered the bathroom, a furry tail brushed against my leg. I knew that our dog was camping outside with our son. I flipped on the light switch. I don’t know who was more startled, me or the small skunk. I departed the room, leaving the door closed with the skunk inside. I woke my hubby to tell him about it. He attached something across the gap at the bottom of the door and went back to sleep.

    In the morning, he went in carefully and found no skunk. Further investigation showed black hairs on the sink drain pipe. The gap between the pipe and the floor appeared only big enough for a mouse or small rat. The hole was closed before lunch.



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  • bill

    While I was working and living in a nursing home in a town, one night I walked around a tree and saw a skunk maybe ten feet from me; it did not seem to notice me, but I backed slowly away, but considering skunks there might be used to humans. Then I was walking down behind the nursing home and I heard rustling on the roadside. I stopped to see if an animal would appear, what it would be. Out waddled a skunk, straight toward me! (c: I knew they have short-sighted vision; and if I stood still, it might think I was a tree; I had to know what it would do if it came near me. It came right by my pants, its hairs touching my trousers. Then it looked back and kept on at the same waddle (c: At another place, more wild, a number of them had run scared when I talked nicely to them, in that area. There I saw a skunk coming my way, and It was walking toward me; yes, I had to know what it would do if it found out I was human and not a tree trunk (c: So, I stood still and it came right by my leg, and only then it started running. I guess it was more bothered by my scent, than I am by skunky fume (c:

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  • Wade

    I’ve owned pet skunks, and have more stories than I can tell here. My favorite skunk was a little 3-pound female named Tumbleweed. She was the most intelligent pet I have ever owned, and I often had trouble outwitting her. Keeping her off the kitchen counters turned into quite a project. She could open the cabinet baby-locks and make her way through the inside of the kitchen drawers. When I finally found a lock she couldn’t crack (the magnetic locks), I thought I was safe. Then I came home to find a tower built by an engineer. Tumbleweed had dragged footstools, boxes, and even furniture from the living room. She had placed it all in order by height, and had even knocked over some pieces to make a perfect step-ladder to the counter top. This little 3-pound, incredibly strong skunk had the spacial reasoning skills to build her stairway to heaven! I finally conceded defeat, and never again left food unlocked.

  • Wade

    One more tale: I took in a rescue skunk named Tyler. Skunks have notoriously bad vision, considered color-blind if not nearly blind altogether. But Tyler’s red albino eyes could see green, and it was his favorite color. On occasion, when he would get into the pantry, he ignored all the normal foods and gorged himself on anything green: vegetables, jello, Kool-Aid, etc. On these occasions, we would pry Tyler from the pantry and laugh hysterically at the sight of the white albino skunk with the green nose and claws.

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  • Silas Josephsen

    My wife and I are always thoroughly exhausted after Comic Con, and say we need to take a year off. We actually kept last year down to one day, and deeply regreted it. Even if you aren’t there to participate in panels or signings, just plan on being in San Diego for those five days every year; it is always worth it. We’re looking forward to seeing you and all of your friends. Have fun!

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  • John Brown

    I was walking through the woods one night, back from a friends house, and before I knew it I practically tripped right over a skunk. I tried to run, but it was too late; I recived a full blast in the face. I instincitvely closed my eyes in time to avoid being blinded, but that hardly improved the experience.

    The smell isn’t anything even close to that roadkill/dead skunk smell. It’s much, much worse than that. The odor alone is seriously enough to make you physically ill and keep you from thinking straight for a few minutes, it burns your eyes (even though it didn’t even get in them), and you can even taste it.

    I instantly threw up, and felt like I was suffocating for about a minute (though there was never a real risk of that). When I recovered, I walked the rest of the way home. My parents wouldn’t let me anywhere near the house; I had to sleep in the pig barn that night (we owned a farm). That might have been the one time a person smelled worse than the pigs. I didn’t get any sleep anyways; after 10 minutes of snoozing, I would catch a whiff of they spray and wake up.

    I tried everything the following day- tomato juice, hydrogen peroxide…you name it. What I learned too late was that you HAVE to try these skunk spray rememdies within a few hours of getting sprayed. By this time, the noxious chemical had took its toll, seeping deep into my every pore.

    I was allowed back into the house after a day (when the smell was no longer “contagious”), resumed going to school after a week (though my body retained the “dead skunk” smell, the most potent part had faded), and was able to interact with society again after another full week.

    Never, ever piss off a skunk.

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  • andrew riel

    One night a friend and i were driveing around in a parkinglot drinking when we saw a skunk running across the parkinglot and i got out and chased being stupid and kept throwing bark at it..until after a few minutes of chasing it reality started sobering me up smelling the fresh worst smell of mankind and i starded puking and somehow managed to throw a rock being wasted about 20 feet and hitting the skunk and whwn i was about to finish off the skunk the smell was twice as strong i ripped off my cloths to my boxers abd jumped in her car and was puking out the window down the side of the car.and even got pulled over by police and they let us go whwn they found out that i got sprayed… And her car had to be detailed from the smell and my dad made me sleep in a tent outside for a few days letting the smell i brougbt in leave….

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  • ulysses

    well to whom it may concern…lol.. i have a pretty skunk story ..this was like 15 yrs ago but i remember it like it was yesterday..we were at the lake and we were curious about that animal that we started chaseing it ..suddenly it stoped and my brother got sprayed in close range ….my brother had been getting sicker and sicker he had a pulmunary disease…he use to get sick all the time .. hes legs would get swollen and all his body too…well to end it………….. after that skunk sprayed him he never got sick again ..the doctors could never explain how he got cured….they should make some medical reserch on that ……..

  • Anne Mills

    Just yesterday we went to our cabin in the redwoods to prepare it for winter. My husband was on the roof of the cabin, to clean the gutters and rake redwood debri off, and found….a large dead skunk with a partially eaten chicken in it’s mouth. Hanging out of this skunks mouth was the whole bottom half of a chicken…, feet, feathers and all.

  • tom hart

    I moved to Hood River, OR in 1997 and rented an apartment. The kitchen was located just inside the front door, which I left open on summer nights so that my black cat, Tex, could come and go without bothering me. One night, I heard and noise in the kitchen and looked through the pass-through. I thought Tex was eating his food, but his tail looked awfully thick and spiky and was standing straight up. You guessed it – a skunk was eating the cat’s food, with his paw holding the dish down. I wasn’t about to interrupt him, so I blocked access to the rest of the apartment and let him finish in peace. He eventually went back out the way he came. Because of this incident, and mosquitoes as well, I decided to keep the door closed and let Tex out myself whenever he asked.

  • Carrie

    I love these guys who seem to thrive everywhere! In my city neighborhood, they control all. I may go out to walk my dogs, but upon arriving home, be kept away by a skunk who has decided to rummage around my yard and feels no compelling reason to move along. Future, they’ve caused neighbor wars! Our neighbor felt because I enclosed my crawl space and eliminated the local skunk’s home, I had a responsibility to also trap any skunk who wandered around. It’s an impossible feat to capture them all, and to this day, that neighbor won’t speak to me. Go skunk!

  • michelle

    Our house was in residential North York (Toronto) and late one summer night our dog was outside enjoying the night air when she started to alert bark, then she started to yelp. I turned on the light to see what was going on and see was standing at the door, I could smell what had happened, I grabbed her and raced her upstairs to the bathroom, told my mother what had happed, had her hold the dog while I ran to work (I worked at a vet clinic) and grabbed bottled of a product called Skunk Off, we proceeded to hose her off and apply the product. As anybody who has had an animal skunked can tell all these products and remedies work to a certain extent, every time the animal gets wet there is au d’ skunk. This is not the first time I have had to deal with a skunked animal, one time a cat came reeking of something that we had no idea what it was until we had been rinsing it form several minutes, it was at that time we realized it had been skunked.

  • Scott Cleaves

    Here’s what I call a real skunk story! Is it any wonder why they are intelligent, well-adapted survivalists? They’ve been around a little while, and have had plenty of practice at their trade. Check this out…

    Evolutionary History of Skunks:

    The distribution of the Mephitidae can be explained by examining the fossil record. While skunks do not occur in Europe today, they did occur there in the past. The oldest recognized fossil identified as a skunk occurred in Germany about 11-12 million years ago. Genetic data, however, place the origin of the family back to about 30-40 MILLION YEARS AGO. Skunks evolved from some of the earliest ancestors of the modern carnivores and are members of a group of carnivores called the Mustelida, and includes the Musteloidea (Mustelidae and Procyonidae), Ailuridae (red panda), and the Mephitidae.

    Skunks rock!

  • Sierra

    I live in town and don’t see much skunks anymore, but when I was 11 or 12, I loved trying to pet stray cats and this is how i met my first skunk.
    One night I and my family had just got home from eatting out, and across the street was a drain that led to a creek. I saw some furry creatures moving around and immediately thought, “oh what my luck, a cat and her kittens”. So I walked over to the curb of our yard and said here kitty kitty kitty, but to my surprise, when the street light hit the thought-to-be cats, It was a female skunk and her 4 babies! I immediately knew not to yell because that’s one thing that would probably alarm them, and slowly i turned around and ran into our breezeway and got in the house.
    When I told my parents and 2 brothers, they started laughing and had said “leave it to you to think that skunks were cats”. And still to this day, I once in a while get teased about it.

  • Rob Snow

    Lots of skunk adventures over the years that collectively convince me that skunks are generally fearless but the best one is probably the time I had a 30 person College Backpacking class that was running late and consequently found it necessary to sleep on a lawn area near the main park headquarters for Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. We spread out widely in a way designed to produce just a bit of privacy. About 2:00 am I awakened to feel something licking my ear and turned my head to clearly see about 4 inches away a pair of curious little eyes. She was going through the pockets of my backpack that I was using as a pillow, looking for edibles and was told by a park ranger the next day that she regularly found Snickers bars (her favorite) or equivalent near people sleeping in the open on the lawn or nearby campground. She had proved smart and dexterous enough to get into zipped or buttoned pockets or even sealed containers.
    Anyway, the best part was that she had her brood of maybe 6 or even more tiny babies along and as she went from camper to camper in her quest it looked just like the cartoon of the little engine that could – winding to and fro across the landscape. the Park Ranger told me that she had been living under a nearby bridge across the Fremont River for several years but as far as he knew neither she or any of her various broods had ever sprayed anyone in all that time.

  • Kia Phillips

    Late one night in Downtown Ann Arbor, MI, circa 1996, I was surprised to find a group of skunks scurrying around the yard of the house next door. Being brave or stupid I decided to try and feed them and my choice was leftover fried chicken. I started by gently tossing the chicken to the group. Soon though, being again brave or stupid, I decided to try to feed them from my hand. I settled down in the grass and began speaking Cherokee to the skunks, calmly repeating “Good boys” in Cherokee and quietly saying “shhhhh”. They were very delicately taking the food from my hands within a few minutes.
    Looking back I can say I was truly fortunate that it was the “wee hours” and no one came down the street blowing their horns or booming loud music. I was not sprayed at all and had a relaxing time communing with the little group of, oh so real, “Pepe Le Pews.”
    A side note I had no idea of this prior to typing this but a group of skunks are called a “surfeit.” Check it for yourselves, LOL!

  • Jim Paxson

    I have 3 short skunk stories. My mother tangled with a skunk when she was young and was washed off with tomato juice and her clothes were buried. When I was a waiter in a nice Colonial Inn we had skunks fight under our dining room floor in a crawl space with smelly results. The last one is sad. My sister’s daughter died in a Condo fire and either her pet skunk or her cat knocked over a lit candle late at night that was the cause of it. Her room mate was burned, and four Condo units were destroyed.

  • HP King

    When a woman in Meade County, KY discovered two (skunk) kittens were orphaned, she contacted my father, a veterinarian, to have the scent glands removed from her new pets. My dad used the patio table, covered with a plastic tarp, and wore latex gloves to perform the surgery. Three of the four glands were removed without incident. On the fourth, the scalpal nicked the gland which ruptured slightly on the way out. When we shook hands to exchange peace at church a week later, my father grabbed my brother’s hand and rubbed his hands all over my brother’s. We could still smell the skunk a week later!

  • David Haslam

    Our skunk story started at around 1 am in urban Brookline, Massachusetts, around 1987. It had taken us several hours to find a parking space, but this was expected when coming home after 10 pm. Next it was time to take our beagle mutt, Barney, for his late-night walk. Right on the sidewalk on Commonwealth Avenue Barney was baptized by a fully loaded striped beauty. We rushed to the local 24 hours store in Cleveland Circle and to our surprise found that they had gallon cans of Campbell’s tomato soup. Tomato soup was the only recourse we had ever heard of for the dog/skunk encounter, so we bought out the supply and headed into the night. For several hours we alternately poured it on and rinsed it off. The spray had missed us; Barney was ever after wary of anything with stripes and we added another dog story to the family collection. Thanks Barney.

  • Nancy Greenfield

    I so enjoyed seeing this episode “Is that skunk?” I love skunks. Anyway pet skunks. The reason why is when I was about five one Sunday returning home from the weekend at our cabin with my mother and father we happened upon a little baby skunk in the middle of the road. It was half dead. My father slows the truck and comes to a halt and says to my Mom…”Get the gun out of the glove box.” My Mom says…”Oh just a minute Bill.” She gets out of the truck and goes and picks up the baby skunk. I was wondering if my Dad was going to shoot it and how my Mom was going to feel about that and then how I was going to feel about that too. It was so small it fit in the palm of my Mom’s hand. She brings it back to the truck. The skunk didn’t hardly have any hair and was very lethargic. My Mom says to my Dad…”Oh Bill as she curls the little baby skunk up under her hair that hung down passed her neck. You know the style from the sixties with the poof on the top and the pony tail on the side curled. Anyway she says..”Oh Bill we are not going to shoot this little skunk we are going to bring him home. And that’s what we did. I heard my parents talk about what could have happened to the skunks mother. Did she eat decon and die? Did she abandon this baby because he was the runt? He was very small. My Dad thought the skunk should be shot because of the possibility of rabies. On the way home we named him Mr. Pepper. Then we went to the toy store and bought baby doll bottles to put milk in to feed him. He was so cute to feed out of your hand. We had had him for six weeks before my mother called the vet to see how old they are when they spray. The vet said oh they can spray the day they are born. Well, Mr. Pepper had an appointment in a hurry with the vet to get descent-ed. We were getting a new baby puppy in a couple of days. All worked out well. Yes he had fangs like snakes do with the hooks on the ends. The vet had a solution for that too. Mr. Pepper didn’t bite us. He just bit new people who came to the house and tried to make friends with him too fast. So to keep ourselves from getting sued because he could make a person bleed pretty good, the vet busted his fangs off even with his other teeth. They never grew back and after that when he’d bite he hardly drew any blood. De-skunked, defanged he was the perfect pet. He slept with us in bed under the covers by our stinky feet.. He was so soft. My Mom was a neat nick. When he started pooping in the corners she folded up wax paper and stuck them in the corners of the house and that’s where he did his business. She was usually johnny on the spot changing those out. She gave him baths in the kitchen sink and would dress him up in Easter bonnets. He would stomp his feet just like in the show. This is when he would still emit just a slight odor of skunk. Of course I learned to love that faint odor. Mr. Pepper lived for just over five years. The show reminded me so much of his mannerism’s! Thank You for teaching me more about skunks.

  • Jon Opsahl

    I offered to take my neighbor’s part black lab and pit bull, Shooter, on a camping trip to the Virginia Mountains. It would be just the two of us. I was peacefully asleep the first night while the full moon lit up the campground like a cloudy day. I suddenly awoke to the Shooter’s growls. He was looking out the rear windows at some deer that were walking across the campground. After watching them for a moment, Shooter decided he needed a potty break, so I hooked up his leash and proceeded to open the van’s side door. Shooter was ready and waiting to jump out as soon as the door was open. Luckily for me I didn’t just let him jump down as standing right by the door were three skunks looking quite surprised and alarmed to see Shooter’s big bulk posed only inches from them and about to jump right on them. My heart skipped at least a couple of beats, the adrenaline immediately kicked in and I yanked on his leash to hold him back. He was as surprised as I was and growled at them. Not sure who was more surprised, them or us. Fortunately they didn’t see Shooter as a threat as they ambled off to search out another spot to investigate. The rest of the night we dreamed about skunks.

  • Virginia

    When I was a teenager, we lived on the Mount Hope Bay in Touisset Point, Warren, RI. It was around 1974 or so, and in the middle of a horrific July heat wave. We were hosting exchange students and various Boston cousins as usual in the summer, and during this heat wave, the house was packed with kids. I couldnt sleep. So I nudged one of my cousins, and we took our blankets outside to sleep under the stars. My brother and another cousin had earlier pitched ancient Army tents, and were snoring happily.

    It was a gorgeous night. I had finished my cup of iced grape Kool-Aid, and the last thing I remember was listening to the tide coming in, and thinking how beautiful the stars were that night. The next thing I knew, I could hear a sniffing sound. And then I smelled the smell. Skunks were always around the neighborhood, and we had some pretty huge racoons as well. But this was no racoon. I could hear the thing sniffing behind me, and then it walked around my pillow and it was sniffing right in my face. I opened one eye a crack and I was honest to God nose to nose with a pretty big skunk. All I could think of was that my daschund would come running outside any second and I’d be done for.

    My heart was pounding, and I was trying not to breath or scare the dang thing. Then it started to walk down towards my feet. RElief flooded my veins until it walked on my blanket, and then SAT ON MY FEET! I could hear it making little eating noises and then I realized it was LICKING THE LEFTOVER KOOL AID ICE I had dumped out at the end of my blanket! That dang skunk sat on my foot licking and slurping for what seemed a school year. Finally, it got off my foot and eventually wandered away. I was petrified and didnt wanna get up too soon. I couldnt see it or hear it, and after a while, I carefully got up. When I realized it was gone, I woke up my cousin, we grabbed our gear and we hightailed it outta there, leaving my brother and other cousin snoring in their tent. Hey, not my problem. All’s fair in love and skunks

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