If an adult needs to be rescued, it is best to call a professional. They can be a rabies vector species and should never be handled without protective gear.
Skunks do not have a lot of natural predators but face many dangers in the wild from traps, cars, dog bites, humans, plastic soda rings, and even yogurt cups.
When to Intervene
- Obvious bleeding
- Lethargy and discharge from the eyes or nose
- Obvious injury
- Walking in circles
- Food container stuck on face
- Anything wrapped around a leg or foot
- Caught in a trap and injured
- Lethargic and covered in fleas, flies, or ants.
Note: It is illegal to trap and relocate wildlife.
We highly recommend that a professional be called to do the rescue. But if you are confident that you have the proper protective gear or the animal can’t bite (stuck in a yogurt cup), the safest way to contain it is to place one hand on the tail as you wrap it under the body and pick it up. Place in a carrier or box with air holes and keep it warm, dark, and quiet until you arrive at a wildlife center.
A mother skunk will stay with her babies and leave only to forage for food. She will forage at any time of day or night to maintain her energy requirements for her litter. Many mothers are killed trying to find food during the day.
Babies stay with their mother throughout the summer but start foraging at 5 weeks of age. If you see one out, watch from a distance for approximately 30 minutes to see if the mother comes back to it. She does not leave them alone for long when looking for food.
- If the babies are in the road, move them to a safe place close by and observe.
- If the mother is dead, and in the road, move the mother off to the side, so the babies will follow if mobile.
- If the babies’ eyes are open and it is walking around, do not attempt to pick up without protecting your hands from a bite. Place a cloth over the body and pick it up.
Note: It is against the law to raise wildlife on your own. Please bring them to a wildlife center as soon as possible where they can be with other skunks, and eat an appropriate diet, etc.