Striped Skunk (D. Cofell)

In Rondeau we have one type of skunk, the striped skunk. It is found all across Canada and likes to live areas of mixed forest and grasslands. Although skunks have long claws for digging, they rarely dig their own den. Skunks usually lives in abandoned dens of other animals, such as groundhogs or foxes. Often times they will live under porches or cellars but also likes rock piles and refuse heaps. To make a nest in its den, the skunk will move leaves into its den by putting them under their body then shuffling into their nest. The will use these leaves to line their den.

Breeding time happens in late February and goes until mid-April.  Skunks will usually only mate once a year but a second breeding period is in May for those that didn’t successfully have any kits. The average gestation period is in 65 days and once their born it takes 8 weeks of nursing until they start hunting with their mother and they will eventually disperse. It only takes 8 days before they can spray.

Skunks are known for their special scent glands located in their anus. The glands are about the size of a grape and create a bad smelling, oily, yellow musk. This musk can be sprayed up to 6 metres and the odor can be carried for over a kilometer by the wind. Although the musk has been known to cause nausea and intense pain, don’t panic as skunks give warning before they spray, so if you see one back away slowly as sudden movements may cause them to spray. When skunks feel threatened they will face you will their back arched and tail up. They will then stomp their feet on the found and may perform a handstand. If they are still threatened they will bend its rear end around while still facing you and spray. If you, your pet or anything got sprayed here is a quick deskunking recipe that has been proven to work:

  • 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid detergent


Mix together in an open bowl and use on sprayed surface. This recipe is safe to use on humans and pets and also on clothing and furniture.


For this and other great deskunking tips visit:


Other fun facts:

  • Skunks are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods such as mice, eggs, carrion, insects, berries, fish and vegetables.
  • Skunks do not like their own smell. They will not spray in their den or in confined spaces.
  • They will only travel about a kilometer away from their den.
  • Skunks are crepuscular meaning they are most active during dusk and dawn.
  • Since other animals are repulsed by the odor skunks are actually less likely to carry rabies than other mammals.
  • The skunk spray is used as a base in perfume because of its clinging abilities.
  • The skunks biggest predator is the great horned owl, who is un affected by the spray due to its poor smelling abilities
  • Skunks have excellent smell and hearing but poor eye sight

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