Is Relocating Skunks cruel?

Discussion in 'Animals & Pets' started by Grau, Jul 29, 2022.

  1. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Most all of us know that as suburban sprawl (aka "development" / "progress") defoliates more and more woodland, wild animals have fewer and fewer places to live and forage for food.

    So after buying and preserving as much of the surrounding woodland as we can, my wife and I have a very attractive and healthy skunk that has been attracted to the bird feeders we have inside a fenced area we have for our 2 dogs.

    After attempting to wash the skunk stink off of 2 dogs recently we are not eager to repeat the process and my wife has retained the services of an animal trapper and relocation person.

    I would like "Russel"* (the skunk) relocated somewhere on our property so that he is not entirely unfamiliar with his surroundings but my wife wants him relocated further away so that he is unlikely to return.

    This just another "good news - bad news" situation.

    The good news is that state law is on my side. It is illegal to trap and relocate a wild animal far away from its environment.

    The bad news is that Russel is more likely to return to the bird feeders, I'll be attempting to wash the skunk smell off of my dogs on a regular basis and my wife will be angry with me for caring more about Russel's livelihood than her feelings.

    Any advice for the solution of my dilemma would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,


    * A friend heard a rustle under the boxwood which was the skunk so we named him Russel.
     
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  2. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Most animals, including skunks, dislike the smell of citrus fruits. Place orange or lemon peels around the yard as a natural skunk repellent. Predator urine (dogs, coyotes) can be used to repel a skunk.
    https://www.almanac.com/pest/skunks#:~:text=A bright light or a,used to repel a skunk.
     
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  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Skunks are pretty fearless. Cats and skunks like each other - just like Pepe Le Pew! Our cats used to buddy up with the skunks and bring them in the house. LOL! This one was just a little baby.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  4. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    From the same link above

    Spray a mixture of castor oil and dish-washing detergent diluted in water
    . Skunks find the smell offensive. Spray the area at night when the skunk is away foraging. Probably the best skunk repellent is a light.
     
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  5. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    One night I was cooking brats over a campfire in the backyard and my cat was running around playing in the weeds under the grapevines nearby. I figured she must've found a moth in there or something, as her playing was more lively and noisy than usual. Eventually she jumps out of the weeds and trots over to me to have her head scratched. Right behind her though, out jumps the skunk she had been playing with in there. It followed her over in what I would say was a playful manner right up until i noticed and said somewhat loudly 'woah! hey!' as I was surprised. It then ran back into the weeds.
     
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  6. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thank you so much for your very helpful information. I had read that skunks dislike citrus fruit, predator urine, ammonia and coffee grounds but the castor oil and dishwashing detergent mixture was new to me.
    I saw Russel (Yes, we've named him/her) at about 3AM and he scurried under the porch when I turned the lights on.

    I've closed the traps and know where Russel's point of entrance is so now I'll start assembling an arsenal of skunk repelling ingredients and apply them accordingly.

    Many thanks again,
     
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  7. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's a great story.
    I guess there's a reason that cats don't seem to get sprayed by skunks but more aggressive dogs do.
    I've read that skunks are shy and friendly animals and give you plenty of warning before they spray. First, they arch their back, then they point their business end toward you then they stomp their front feet before actually spraying.
    They have enough stinky liquid for about 6 sprays and it takes about a week to replenish their stinky juice.

    Many thanks,
     
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  8. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    At one point we had [as best as I could estimate] 8 or 9 families on the property one year. This was one of them down in the pasture area.

    upload_2022-7-29_13-55-52.jpeg

    When they are young like this, you can use them as a bottle brush. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Too funny, I just recently posted this story with that photo. I had an office about 400 feet down the hill from the house, by the pasture.

    Below is a little skunk family that made a home under our chicken coop. One year, I think this one, we had something like 7 or 8 skunk families on the property. With about as many babies per family, the damn things were everywhere! One night I had forgotten my flashlight and had to walk up to the house on a moonless night. It was pitch black. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. But I knew every square foot of that property. So I started up the hill carefully. I had an electric fence on my right and a ledge and significant drop off to my left. About half way up, I heard something you only recognize after many years around skunks. I could hear one and then two skunks pounding their front feet. That is what they do before they spray. And they must have been within ten feet of me.
    I just froze and stood there for the longest time. I couldn't hear them run off so I didn't want to take a chance. I finally started up the hill again and after another 20 yards or so I heard another one pounding it's feet. Eeeeeeesh! Rinse and repeat!!!
    http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?threads/share-your-photos.189880/page-23#post-1073537242
     
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  10. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Also, this was posted with the photo of the baby. But the one I approached was a full-sized adult. I was so close that I could have reached out and petted him. And keep in mind that I was on the floor on my belly! LOL!

    Our cats liked to buddy up with the skunks and then show them where the food is. I found this guy in our kitchen at about 3 AM - just a a baby! We had them come in from time to time. Over time I realized they are pretty fearless. One night I actually got on the floor and carefully slid towards one [fully mature] that was eating the cat food. He kept looking at me while chomping away and seemed to care less. I got closer and closer until I was only a few feet away. He kept eating and looking at me from time to time until he was done. Then he left without incident.

    http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?threads/share-your-photos.189880/page-23#post-1073535941
     
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  11. Chrizton

    Chrizton Well-Known Member

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    If you move him, you need to move the bird feeder too or he will be back. You could try to move him yourself by progressively moving the bird feeder further and further away to where he will take up new residence. He isn't spraying for fun so if you make another area more attractive for him, he will go to it in time.
     
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  12. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm afraid that the bird feeder / birdbath is about 12 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. Since I'm a blacksmith and it's one of the pieces of functional sculpture that I made, it's not that easy to move. Also, its in a smaller, fenced courtyard right behind the back porch with 2 concrete bird baths so there's not that much room in the courtyard to make moving it worthwhile.

    Yesterday, I put coffee grounds at the location where Russel comes into the fenced courtyard and no one saw Russel last night. However, I'm not so naive as to think that I've solved the problem on the first try and will continue to follow the advice provided by others.

    I know that Russel is not spraying for fun so I let the dogs out in a different location to minimize the possibility of dog - skunk contact.
    The last thing I want to do is to torment wild or domestic animals.

    Many thanks,
     
  13. Chrizton

    Chrizton Well-Known Member

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    Yep. You know you could splurge and but a shepherds hook and a second bird feeder for like $35 at home depot? Same difference really. He wants the food.
     
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  14. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    As of this morning I think that Russel may have found a more appealing food source since no one has seen him for 2 days and there is no evidence that he has been around.
    I put coffee grounds at and sealed off his point of entry but am not naive enough to think that any problem is solved so easily.
    You're right, all he wants is food so I may need to do what you recommended if he shows up again.

    Thanks for your time and suggestions.
     
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