Skunks are, no doubt infamous because of their abilty to spray the most foul smelling liquid at any predator, animal or person that they feel are threatening. But still, they are pretty damn cute!
Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. They eat insects, bees, larvae, earthworms, grubs, spiders, rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, and eggs. They also commonly eat vegetation such as berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi and nuts.
In urban areas, skunks will eat garbage and other food left by humans.
Skunks have excellent sense of smell and hearing, but their eyesight is rather poor.
Other then mating, skunks are generally solitary creatures. During the day they shelter in burrows, which they can dig with their powerful front claws. Skunks are not true hibernators in the winter, but do den up for extended periods of time when it gets cold. During this dormant time, their are inactive.
Skunks have a double barrelled spray that squirts from two nozzles near the anus. The streams merge into a fine spray that can shot three to metres with great accuracy. They usually aim for the victims eyes, rendering them blind for up to 20 minutes if not flushed out.
Even though they have this incredible weapon, they only use it when threatened. We have had close encounters with skunks while camping in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. The skunks were extremely friendly, hanging out with us. Although we did not feed them for obvious reasons, I think they were enjoying some of the popcorn that was accidently dropped during our campfire snacking. There were a few scary moments when the fox and the skunk met. The skunk’s tail went up as a warning, but the fox was a real cool fella and paid him little attention.
Another interesting time was when there were two skunks. They didn’t get along so well. Thankfully, skunks don’t like the smell of their spray and refrained from doing anything nasty. Instead, they had a sumo wrestling style shoving match where they pushed up against each other’s backside. Very peculiar indeed.