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Skunk School -- Learn Why Not To Keep Skunks As Pets
1999-08-19 06:22:56

Animal Rampage
Animal Rampage

Dangerous mistake! There is an alarming trend in pet purchasing habits this fall. People inspired by the WWII film, "Life is Beautiful" -- the one with that annoying Italian guy -- are buying descented skunks by the millions.

Unassuming parents are procuring the cute and fuzzy skunk puppies for their children not realizing that they grow up to be wild pack animals that are intelligent, blood thirsty hunters. They are also vengeful, have a highly developed bird-call-like language, and cannot be properly disciplined with a spray bottle.

As a public service Spock Mountain Research Labs is posting this warning and guide to skunk behavior. It is our hope that this article will ward off more domestic skunk disasters.

Hermunculus skunkoWhen skunks are in the weanling stage, they are cute and moist, and children cannot resist them. They do not realize that these creatures grow up to have shark-like teeth and claws meant for separating flesh from vertebrae.

Pissing skunkSkunk owners are often surprised to find that a skunk will pass up a perfectly good "skunk pan," and instead eliminate on their furniture, walls, or other surfaces. Descented skunks never forgive human beings for taking their stink power, and will constantly urinate throughout the home. This can lead to unsanitary living quarters for your children, and your little ones might even get a rhinovirus.

Skunks are also very picky eaters. When a skunk is deprived of its natural hunting pattern, it will be most happy with raw eggs, and uncooked meats. But, like spiders, skunks prefer to eat live prey.Egg thirstFrog got kilt.

In the wild, skunks work in packs of two or more, and they generally try to hunt near rivers or creeks where they can quickly subdue amphibians, which makes up the bulk of most skunks' diets. In fact, a team of two skunks can rip apart as many as 10 frogs per hour when feeding.

Other animalsSkunk owners are often shocked by the skunk's penchant for inviting other wild animals into the household. Many a skunk owner has come home from work, or doing errands, to find that a bunch of raccoons, opossums, and skunks have raided the kitchen, and eaten all of the eggs, and other high calorie foodstuffs.

Skunks are NOT cats...Whatever happens, never, ever, let a skunk outside without a proper restraining system. Skunks will sometimes pretend to be like cats, but at the first opportunity they will make a break for wild freedom, where they will join the other escaped skunks in the neighborhood and form gangs. And then all hell will break loose.

Woosh!!!!!!!Once a skunk has escaped, it is nearly impossible to catch it.These boys mean business...

Skunks have a ground speed of nearly 85 miles per hour, close to that of the cheetah. If startled, a group of skunks can bolt from a skunk hole at breathtaking speed, and In a skunk hole... will not be shy about defending their freedom with their teeth and claws when challenged. This makes them extremely dangerous to have in the yard. Ouch!!!

Even when a skunk has been descented, it has the ability to project uric acid from its hindquarters. If cornered a descented skunk still has powerful pumping glands, and a pursuer may receive a brutal splash of skunk fluids. Watch it!!!Skunk urine is not as disgusting as skunk spray, but it can still debilitate an adult human long enough for the skunk to make a hasty escape.

Skunks will have no compunction about destroying your other pets and livestock. When faced with surviving away from a source of fresh amphibians, skunks have been known to eat cats, dogs, and even horses. There are reports that packs of skunks have torn up entire hen houses, killing every hen, drinking all the blood and feasting on the eggs.

These chickens are dead.The only recourse a skunk owner has is to build skunk traps baited with chocolate. Chocolate is an irresistible substance to skunks, and it is also a a deadly poison to them. Skunk traps usually consist of a tin can with a Hershey's Chocolate Kiss on the bottom. The can is placed in a hole in the ground, similar in size to a gopher hole.

Diggin' a skunk trap.As the skunk rushes for the chocolate, its head will become lodged permanently inside the tin can. Slowly, blindly the skunk wanders around as the chocolate takes its toll. The skunk will cry out in its skunk "macaaw" as it stumbles. If it can be located in time, it can be destroyed with a shovel or a blunt instrument. This is the preferable way for a wild skunk to die.

Trapped skunkIt may seem cruel, but unless the skunk is bludgeoned it will walk endlessly as its digestive trackIn town... freezes up and its blood hardens. And it may wander into town where adolescent boys may find it and slowly torture it by playing kick the can, or another miscreant game.

Monkey kill!Perhaps the best way to defend one's property from escaped pet skunks is to get a Costa Rican spider monkey, the natural enemy of skunks. As the mongoose is able to to kill the deadly cobra, a spider monkey is slightly faster than the wily skunk, and able to avoid its sprays and razor bite.

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