Is That Skunk?
Video: Baby Skunks

Jerry Dragoo shows off some cute skunk kits. Newborn skunk babies have markings on naked skin, which will later be replaced by fur in the same pattern. Skunk kits are able to spray from birth, but the resulting chemical plume is not nearly as strong as that of an adult.

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  • ACE

    They are so beautiful!! And yet, by far too many people — so misunderstood!!

    I hope this program helps to educate the public.

    I LOOOVE Skunks!!!!

  • Paul Wade

    I get to handle and play with a lot of these cuties each spring as I raise them and sometimes have 30 or more. I look forward to this the whole year. Nothing quite like loving a bunch of baby skunkies. When I talk to people about raising skunks and see the look on their faces I have to laugh at how much they are in the dark about these lovely animals. I sure hope a lot of people watch this special and get informed. I love these guys.

  • Bonnie Noehr

    Skunks are my favorite animal. They are so needlessly maligned for defending themselves with the equipment nature provided them. Snuggling with a skunk is one of the most delighful experiences of my day.

  • Charlotte Richardson

    How sweet! Just like a skunk! NOTHING beats the snuggles and love a skunk can give! Hope this helps to educate people and make them realize how sweet they can be. Too often they are misunderstood. Laws NEED to be changed on pet skunks. Long live ALL skunks!!!

  • Susan Stainback

    Thank you Dr. Dragoo for all you, your family, friends, colleagues and the nature team are doing for these wonderful animals. Their contributions and beauty too often go unrecognized and unappreciated.

  • Beth Wright

    This video moved me. Very tender to watch. Thank-you for making it.

  • Cynthia O’Brien-Walker

    I wish all states would allow the rehab of these precious babies. Hopefully soon we can get the money for the research to forever put aside the ignorant notion that baby skunks can be born with rabies, and survive. Cindy

  • Toni

    This is wonderfully informative show, finally explaining the wonderful benefits of skunks, and the ability to see why so many of us skunk lovers have fallen in love with them, and now have them as pets. They are by far the best companion I have ever had to love, and be loved back. Their babies are the cutest, and and the mothers are the best mothers I have seen in the animal kingdom, to be raising their babies.

  • Dolores Lindvall

    Oh! But I do wish that I were there with Jerry Dragoo! Baby skunks are just the sweetest! Laws need to be changed! There IS a Rabies vaccine that is manufactured right here in the US, but has not been approved for use in skunks … altho it is being used elsewhere with wonderfull results. Since my skunk NEVER leaves my arms when I take her outside, there is no way that she could get bitten by or eat from the carcass of an animal that has or has died from Rabies. I am so looking forward to watching this program with my Sammi Skunkette dozing on my lap … before we go to bed together! Yes, she sleeps with me. :-)

  • Deborah Cipriani (Skunk Haven Inc)

    Have you Hugged a Skunk Today? Its a wonderful feeling.

    Rehabbing baby wild skunks is a joy then we release them back into the wild so they can continue the circle of life.

    What upsets me is there would be less orphan wild baby skunks if people would stop killing the mothers for just because they may walk in a yard, or hide under a porch. After, people see the kits they then feel sorry and some times guilt . Its too late now for the mother to care for their young.

    Please people THINK FIRST before killing an innocence animal.
    Skunks are living creatures, have deep feeling and have a purpose in this life just like any other animal. They are part of the totem and teach us respect. Please respect them!
    Use non- lethal methods to rid skunks from your yard.

  • Dolores Lindvall

    Oh! What I wouldn’t give to be in Jerry Dragoo’s shoes having those sweet babies! I’ve had the wonderful experience of a baby skunk at about this age. They bond ever so quickly. See that look of pure bliss on that baby’s face as he is sucking the milk from the syringe! I am ever so sad and so mad when I hear of people going out and killing these little ones “just because they are skunks.” In the wild, these babies grow up take an important part in the cycle of wildlife. In our homes, they take up a huge part of our hearts.

  • Pat

    I am a first time skunk owner. This has been the best experience of my life. The love they show is unreal. Cuddling under the covers at night with the little guy is the most precious thing I have ever experienced. There are so many uneducated people out there in regards to skunks. I hope this program will help educate them.

  • Anita

    I have shared the love of skunks along with my daughter for 19 years. She has been a skunk owner for 6years and I have got to love on the babies and truely love it. About a year and a half ago I became Mama to a couple of wild rescues, a brother and sister and I just look forward to spending time with them. It is the highlight of my day.

  • Stephanie Szmuc

    I just love thoughs babies. They are so cute. I can’t wait until Sunday to see the show. I hope to see more cute little butts! Skunks are great animals. I wish everyone could know how wonderful they reaaly are!!!

  • Vicki Staton

    What a cute video. Nothing cuter than a baby skunk. I just got my first skunk a couple of months ago and she’s just awesome, so loving and snugly. She’s almost an adult though and I’m really thinking of getting a baby – both for myself and to give her someone to play with eventually. I think I could have a whole house full!

  • Renee

    Since going out and educating people about skunks I am amazed at how many people think that a skunk will automatically come up and attack or spray them. In reality, they would rather leave you alone as long as you leave them alone.

    They help in nature by getting rid of small rodents and some harmful insects. I had a skunk family eat an entire beehive that was preventing me from being able to go outside. That was my first encounter with skunks that helped me see they weren’t like Pepe Le Pew with stink just coming out of them all the time.

    I urge everyone to please watch and learn.

  • Kendra M.

    Oh what a wonderful site and sound. I just love the sound of skunks. This show is a long time coming. Hopefully it will open the public’s eye on how wonderful these animals are.

  • Diana Allen

    “Skunk snuggles”…I couldn’t have said it better myself! Those tiny little ears! that soft little nose! Those itty-bitty eyes looking back at you! How can ANYONE resist such cuteness?

  • Nancy Greene

    I have been fortunate enough to assist Skunkhaven for the past 3 summers with rescuing baby skunks if the mother gets hit by a car or other circumstances where the babies are without their mothers and it has been a rewarding experience! Skunks are beautiful-misunderstood animals and I really enjoy being able to help take care of the little ones until they are old enough to be released back into the wild where they belong. They are an important part of our environment and most wildlife rehabilitators will not take in baby skunks since they already have their hands full with other wildlife. Is is a very time consuming job but I love doing it!! Thank you Deb and Skunkhaven for giving me the opportunity to help!

  • Sebastian Miller

    Skunks are one of the cutest animals on this earth, and a film about them, both in the wild and as companion animals, has been long overdue. There are not very many kept in the UK, but those of us who own them know that they are one of the most wonderful animals to share your life with.
    Unfortunately these animals are much misunderstood in their homeland in the USA.This results in many being deliberately and needlessly killed.Even more are killed and maimed by motor vehicles.
    One can only but admire the work of Deb Cipriani (Skunkhaven) who devotes her whole life to looking after these casualties, as well as advising pet owners on the proper care of their animals.

  • Bobbie Cremeans

    I have had the Joy of becoming friends with Cody and Art Hilidbrand in Cinn,they and their skunks have taught me so much .Im a camp host at Hueston Woods State Park ,I pass the info along to our campers so they to can ubderstand and enjoy these wonderful creatures ..good job
    Cody and Art

  • G Crawford

    I used to know a woman that had a skunk as a pet , and I was totally amazed . It wouldn’t leave me alone , very playful and friendly . This video made me remember that . I’m glad the guy is going to release them , as wild animals belong in the wild , but they are so neat a creature .

  • Laura Knight

    I am from the UK and own a pet skunk, they are amazing animals and make great pets if looked after properly. I think they are a very misunderstood animal and like any animal, should be given a chance. So many in the USA are needlessly killed due to being illegal in some states, I think this is an outrage.
    I hope this programme on skunks will educate people and open their eyes to this misunderstood animal.

  • Tanya

    All baby animals are cute, but until you’ve watched a baby skunk stomp you, run at you and do a hand-stand, turn and give you the “butt”, then run the other way, you haven’t seen “cute-ness”! It has been said that one destroys what they don’t understand. My hope is this show will educate humans about this misunderstood creature. The word “rabies” brings fear. What we need to learn is IF a wild skunk has rabies, it got it just like any other animal…they must come into contact with something that already has it. That means NOT ALL wild skunks have rabies, and baby skunks can not be born with it and survive.

    Please watch and learn. The very lives of these innocent animals could depend on it.

  • katye mckissock

    Absolutely adorable! Babies of any kind are sweet, but there’s just something about those teeny skunk faces that gets you every time.

  • Wendy

    I am reminded of the PBS commercial where a skunk “invading” the family home is revealed to be the family’s beloved pet. The slogan is “Be More…..Adventurous” I think.

  • Cody & Arnold Hildebrand ( Wild Brother Animal Behavior Study)

    We absolutely have NO resistance to baby skunks. Hence, us raising thirty nine Domestic skunk babies over a thirty one year time period. SKUNKS! like ” chips”. You just can,t have one!

  • Pam

    I was really afraid of the thought of my daughter getting a skunk for a pet. Well she got a baby girl skunk. She has named her Laci. I have overcome my fear. She is the most lovable creature I have seen. I have had 2 Dogs , Hamsters, and a Ferret and her personality is indeed unique. She has changed my mind about the taking in a domesticated (wild no way) animal. Laci was born in Indiana by a breeder. Stephanie took her home when she was around 6 weeks old. Laci bonded to the family just like a child would. I have never seen her be really agressive in any way toward my grandchildren. I would love to get a baby skunk, but my other half is not ready for another pet in the house. If I could I would get one in a New York Minute.
    Please continue to let people know that there is really nothing to fear from these animals as long as they are loved and cared for properly. My son-inlaw has allergies and from what we were told the skunk would not bother him. As of this date, he says her fur does not affect him. So they are great pets for people who suffer from allergies.
    I LOVE SKUNKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marie Redner

    I had a wild skunk who lived in my house for about five years. He/she would come in the back porch cat door after a night of fooding. It would go behind the washing machine thread a way through an unfinished wall and into the water heater closet that opened into the bathroom. I would open the door each morning and say good morning, it would wake up and look at me. It would sleep most of the day there with no trouble.
    Over the years we got to know each other and I could give it a pat on its head. That’s as close as we got.
    Never had a spray in the closet or on the back porch. The cats were tolerant.

  • Cam Seigal

    I’ve been a skunk mom for 9 yrs. I can’t imagine life without a pet skunk in it. I hope people will watch this program with an open mind and realize that skunks, like any other animal, live in and adapt to their surroundings. We, as a people, take animals out of the wild and domestic them all the time. A little education goes a long way, for both the wild and domesticated animals that “share” this great planet we live on. Love is love, no matter the species.

  • Kendra

    Can’t wait to see this show. Pet skunks are loving, affectionate aniamls. Love them and treat them with respect. They will return favor ten fold!!!

  • michele

    I have a female skunk, her name is Coral, she is my 4th, Skunks make great pets if people are well informed about them, Skunkhaven inc is an excellent source of helpful info. Skunks get bad raps, but they are gentle, loving,affectionate, and all around fun animals to be around…After a bad day at work i come home and hug my skunk and she makes me smile and feel better. She’s fun to be around.
    Skunks have unconditional LOVE.

  • ratino

    I alway dream to have Skunk they so beautiful went are babies I remember to 5 of them wend I was 13 years old in my town in mexico they look so cute but prefered to let them free and that moment in my life I fell in love with them

  • gabino

    I remember to see 5 of them wend I was 13 years old in my town in mexico they look so cute but I prefer to let them free and that moment in my life I fell in love with them

  • Susie H.

    I’ve been a skunk Mom for less than a year, I can’t imagine my life now without one. They are the cutest, funny and loving creatures God put on this earth, I’ll never be without a skunk that sleeps with me again

  • Share Bond

    As President of SKUNKS, I have been rescuing and rehabilitating wild skunks for 18 years and have never been sprayed. All baby animals are beautiful and entertaining, but there’s nothing quite as awesome to watch as baby skunks. I especially look forward to watching this segment!

  • Share Bond, The Skunk Whisperer

    I’d also like to add that the main reason that so many baby skunks are orphaned is not so much because of the mothers being hit by cars, as it is that people trap and intentionally kill these misunderstood creatures. Trapping is only necessary to get them out of your house or even from under your house while you close it off from further intrusion, but you should release them on your property. Once the food that you or your neighbors leave out is removed from their access, they will leave on their own . . . to another home where a ‘gourmet feast’ is left outside to lure them there. Relocating or killing them NEVER solves the problem because more will just come in their place – over and over and over again.

  • javier

    ijust sow the skunks life on nature.Ther are so cute. Thank PBS for broadcasting this wonderful animals. Where else can we find skunks?

  • Paige Harrison

    Is there anything more adorable or that makes more adorable little noises?I adore skunks! They are gorgeous, smart, resourceful, in a word…..Perfect. This is my favorite episode of Nature in months. Thank you PBS. This alone is worth an annual donation!

  • javier

    Hi Paige Harrison, it seems that you enjoyed the program too. I am studying Biology and i do not know what to do with it, like the Biologist that taked care of the baby skunks i may find my carrier by accident.

  • Danny Justice

    i was driving the road one day and seen 6 baby skunks on the road by their dead mother . So i picked them up and put them on the back seat. They was real small i had been told young ones could not spray Wrong had junk that car.

  • Janina

    Wonderful video. I admire the people that help them.
    I have just realized that I have not smelled the skunk for a few years now. It must mean taht they are extinct–at least in West Houston. The same happened to frogs and rabbits. We still have squirrels. Who knows how long they wil survive. The oak trees–any trees-are cut for new highrises.

  • Joe

    Yeah it’s a nice video but I’ll tell you what, you may think those skunks are just so cute until they grow up and make a den under your house and stink the place up so bad it becomes unbearable. The best money I ever spent was $65.00 in 2006 on a have a heart trap. Since then I’ve trapped dozens of skunks in my yard and relocated them far far away. They are useless smelly creatures.

  • Bonnie Norris

    I disagree with Joe, God did not make useless creatures. I think they are pretty and mis understood, they have to defend theirselves the way God planned it. Skunks dont kill people, people kill people.

  • sadia

    i love skunks there so cute, just 1 problem is that they stink but other then that there so cute and i hope pbs keeps the good work up for the future i love PBS programs like nature and nova i love learning about animals =]

  • mi

    wow that was cool cause the skunks were baby’s

  • vella

    very very pretty shunk.. wow…i never see before somewhere hide another place…so cute;)

  • fran

    Precious! I found this while looking for information on skunks when I had to direct her out of our chicken pen. She got two of the chicks before I got there but she didn’t any more of them. She never sprayed and it appeared in the odd cast of the lighting of the night like she was mostly white with a black stripe down the middle as she waddled to try to get more chicks. I think from what the guy said in this video, that she was likely a female, probably pregnant. I am glad we got her out of the pen and glad I didn’t have to hurt her in the process.

  • Georgia

    Hello, I need help trying to save about a 4 day old little skunk. I have been bottle feeding and trying to find a place to rehab it…. any suggestions??? feeding cat milk and babyfood right now.

  • Margie H Davis

    I would like to post the skunk information/video on my facebook Wall/Profile for educational purposes. How can I do this?

  • NATURE Online

    Margie – You can go to your wall, find the box where you type a new update, click the button for “Attach Link” and paste the address of the page you want to share. Hope this helps!

  • Rich Rodriguez

    What a cute video clip! Those little kits know Dr. Dragoo as daddy. And he won’t eat them, either. :)

    I followed the link here from the Wikipedia article on skunks. I’ll probably watch the entire episode, which I am thankful that you still have online.

  • ACE

    IF you really need to trap and remove a mama skunk under your house (or wherever it is on your property) PLEASE use a HUMANE trapping company — they will NOT kill the skunk– they will look for and find the babies and move them to where the mama can find them — Skunks usually always build a SECOND den– and once your house is made off-limits to them (by screening or closing off holes AFTER all animals have been removed) – she will take her babies to the second den,

    Regarding Humane Trapping, read this and follow the links:
    http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/urban_wildlife_our_wild_neighbors/solving_problems/humane_control/the_humane_approach_to_humanwildlife_conflicts.html

  • YTK
  • Amanda

    Help!!!!! I just rescued a baby skunk!!! I think he is about 4 weeks old, what should I do?

  • Tina

    Go to Skunkhaven.com they are very knowledgeable. The best skunk website there is.

  • John Peter

    Ow man! I love this animal! I love skunks! Skunks are my favorite animal! I love them!

  • Lee Lawrence, LVT

    Our beloved skunk, Ansel Adams, died 2 weeks ago from liver cancer after turning our home and our hearts upside down for 5 years. He was, without question, the most wonderful, affectionate pet I’ve ever had. While he can never be replaced, he can be represented by a new skunk, because, as most skunk owners know, there is NOTHING like skunk kisses in the middle of the night, that contented sigh as they curl up tight to your side under the covers, and the feeling of wiggling your cold toes into a warm pile of fur on a cold night. So, life here is not the same without a skunk. This time we are ordering two! Skunks are truly a wonder of animal companionship, and far from an exotic animal, they are the original American pet; they were kept by several Native American tribes as camp companions that kept the mouse population down, as well as keeping the early settlers company. If you are lucky enough to get one, please log onto Skunk Haven for all you need to know about taking care of the most delightful, intelligent creatue nature has to offer.

  • 3243

    In this post, I’m not referring to tamed, domesticated skunks. I’m only talking about the wild ones.

    If one or more skunks got onto my property, I would call Animal Control to have them removed. If for some reason that does not work, I would like to trap and relocate them, but if there are people living nearby (like maybe over the next hill or around a corner), I could just be transferring my troubles onto them. And they cannot be relocated in my neighborhood for the same reason. Plus some states have laws prohibiting relocating live wild skunks for that reason. So I would get rid of them myself.

    In terms of shooting them, I’ve read somewhere that it is best to shoot it in the side, in front of its hind legs, or in the middle of its lower back, right between the stripes, so it can no longer arch its back to raise its tail to spray. Then once you’ve seen that it can no longer raise its tail, IMMEDIATELY shoot it in the head to put it out of its misery.

    Some people suggest trapping them inside a cage with a brick or rock inside the cage, then submerging the cage inside a body of water (such as a trash can filled with water) for a few minutes. Personally I’d rather not make them suffer like that. At least with shooting them, you can dispose of them quickly. Also, I do not recommend poisoning them, as they can go back underneath your house to die. And if they nest in a hard-to-reach area, well, good luck.

  • Rosemary Glaspell

    Love your video, yes skunks are misunderstood and not appreciated. – DVM Kevin Dill says hello. I rescued a baby skunk separted from its mother and litter mates after a bad storm – the situation was as such they would not be reunited. Bottle fed him for one week and then he begin eating on his own. He was a joy to watch and play with. I am in the process of letting him be a real skunk. Which means providing him with some food and letting him explore the world. Yes his mom would have done a much better job but no way could I leeave him to die on that road. I often wondered those first days what in the hell did I get myself into….but I have no regrets. Oh yes people wanted me to descent or kill him but no way. He was and is healthy so I want him to be a “real” skunk. Unfortunatly North Dakota remains in the dark ages as far as providing wildlife rehab and rescue so I knew I could not call them. Their solution would have been to kill Stinky Pete. Mr Drago keep educating the fools of the world. God made skunks too and they are smart and facinating beings

  • seguridad en internet

    the wild and domesticated animals that “share” this great planet we live on

  • Sandy Werner

    When I worked rehab in Illinois, it was against the law to rehab orphaned skunk kits. If they were brought into the center, they would be put down due to the high incidence of rabies (85%) in skunks. This is a law in Illinois. There is a law there against rehabbing bats, also. I don’t know if this percentage has been proven false or if anything has changed in IL since I lived there. I hope so.

  • Elizabeth

    I loved watching this! We had quite the experience with a litter of skunks that nested under our deck. We did capture them when they came out one day. It was easy, and they never tried to bite. They were about 4 to 6 weeks old. Adorable! We took them to an animal refuge. I don’t agree with the statement that the mother won’t leave them alone, because she did. Unless something had happened to her. Seeing this video reminded me of our little furry friends lol. Great Share!

  • Steve Weston

    I had a most unusual experience one summer evening, which unexpectedly explained why nature gave skunks those white stripes. We were strolling along a paseo in Valencia, California next to a drainage canal, which empties into a golf course. We were dumbfounded by the sight of an undulating carpet of black and white moving along the bottom of the drainage canal. It stunned us for about 15 seconds, until the carpet reached a log and parted in two as it passed the log. It was of course a pack of skunks. The waddle in their walk, and their huge waving tails, and staying tightly together in a pack, created this illusion, which I assume was an adaptation against predators.

    I haven’t read anything about this in any of the literature.

  • Bob Jones

    This “crockumentary” was without a doubt the most BORING, uninteresting, juvenile, waste of time and crock of crapola that I have ever seen on TV. This show alone is proof positive that PBS needs to absolutely STOP getting tax dollars of any amount. If this is the level of garbage you have declined to, I can stop wasting my time viewing ANY of your programs. You stink worse than all those varmints!

  • lisa kees

    Poor Bob Jones- I pity your ignorance. You really do not deserve any attention at all. You probably kick cats and children too.
    Also, 3243- did anyone ask you how to kill these creatures???? I mean really-no one wants to hear about your killing of these creautres. Go join Bob and go to war somewhere..Maybe someone else can put you both out of your misery.

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  • Nilo

    What a cute video. Nothing cuter than a baby skunk. Thank you Dr. Dragoo for these wonderful animals.

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  • Sebastien

    I had a question: my wife and I love skunks and are dying to get one. But we will be moving to France (where skunks are allowed as pets) and we would like to know if it is dangerous for the skunk to fly? (it is dangerous for them to have their ears pop or other things..)

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