Nearly three weeks ago we admitted a patient for care, a juvenile, very thin, suffering from parasites, and barely able to stand. At this time of year, struggling young wild mammals are a relatively common patient for us. Youngsters run into trouble, on their own, and once weakened, succumb to all sorts of perils. Internal parasites, dogs and cats are life threatening to a youngster, and if you happen to be one of the most unloved and misunderstood animals who commonly live near the world of industrial civilization, people can be the biggest threat you’ll face – which is why this young Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) was very lucky that he stumbled into the backyard of someone who took pity on him instead of freaking out.
Freaking out when seeing a skunk is pretty common. Of course, skunks are relatively harmless. While they may suffer from rabies, though it’s not common, their only real threat is their ability to leave a lingering pungent aroma that most of Mother Earth’s children find unpleasant. Consider that the next time you pass the lingering odor of skunk dead on the side of the highway who’s only crime was trying cross the road, and who’s only defense against a thundering automobile was his unique musky spray.
Those who keep chickens, of course, need to provide their animals with a safe enclosure that keeps out all predators, if they wish them to not be eaten. Most wild animals are drawn to human households by food, water or, in the right season, an attractive den site. It is as much our responsibility to keep our wild neighbors safe from conflict with us as it is to keep our livestock, pets and property safe from damage caused by nature that is only doing what needs to be done for survival.
This young skunk needed only anti-parasitical medicine and safe place to eat a natural diet and regain his body mass. After a few days he was stable enough to be housed outdoors. After a few weeks, he was fit and ready to return to his free and wild life. We released him into the same area he was found. As you can see in the following phone pics, he made short work of dashing for cover…
And then he was gone….
Your support makes our work providing care for our wild neighbors who’ve become orphaned or injured due to our built world possible! Without you, neither this skunk, nor the other 15 skunks we’ve treated in 2016, nor the other 900 wild animals, as well as the thousands of wild animals we’ve helped by counseling people in the middle of a conflict with the principles of humane co-existence with the wild animals and Mother Earth, would have gotten the help they needed and deserved. Thank YOU!!!
We are still $5000 dollars away from our critical goal of $7000 raised for the month of September. You can help us reach it by donating today!