Skunks are beautiful and useful creaturescreage

Written by Susan Libby (Arizona, U.S.A.)
Published on: November 28th, 2018

i recently found out that it is ILLEGAL to save or rehabilitate SKUNKS in the State of Wisconsin USA.

Even licensed rehabilitators must refuse when citizens bring them injured animals.  the Department of Natural Resources which is supposed to protect our native wildlife is governed by groups of people who have a vested interest in keeping alive only animals which they can hunt for their meat or to decorate their walls.

They have also made it very hard to gain a license as a wildlife rehabilitators and in fact have lost over 50 % of the rehabilitators who were in practice as of 2004.

 

So, although none of the Rehabbers I spoke with were totally clear on why it is illegal to save skunks other than that species might be a Rabies vector ( along with bats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes etc, which are not illegal to rehabilitate), I am a person who cannot turn away an animal I see suffering.

Therefore, when I received a call in 2016 that a friend of mine was in possession of five infant skunks and was in a complete panic as to what to do, I agreed to take them.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was to receive six more shortly, for a total of eleven..

The first group of five were about four weeks old. The mother had been trapped by a teenage boy, and sold for chump change to a business that kills them and uses the scent glands in producing hunting lure scents.

The babies were found crying after several days under a building.  Luckily they were able to start drinking on their own shortly.

The second group came from a farmers wife. A bunch of baby skunks were " running all over her property" and her father in law was going to kill them.  So I provided her with live traps and one by one she brought me six more, including the last little runt of the litter who had been on her own for about a week and was in very rough shape.  This group was younger and required about two weeks of intensive bottle feeding.

 

Never having worked with skunks before, it was a bit daunting, but I treated them as I would most wild infants including feral kittens.

Long story short, they all thrived in a large enclosure with clean straw bedding.  They were an absolute joy. They were clean, learned to use a litter pan, and, most importantly.....NEVER SPRAYED ME.

At end of summer a friend gave permission to do a soft release on his large acreage. They scattered and although a trail cam was set up, we only saw them once or twice after that. 

Go with God little polecats.

 

Will You Help Rescue Others? You'll LOVE Our Work! Before: scheduled for euthanasia at the pound. After: His new family has a huge backyard!