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Skunk in daylight? How concerned should I be?

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  • Skunk in daylight? How concerned should I be?

    I heard a rustle while watering my fortnight lilies at about 11 this morning and out walked a skunk. I apologized and then got to thinking that skunks in the daytime might mean an NQR skunk. So I Googled and discovered that one possibility is a mother with babies since they go foraging during the day when it's safer to leave their young. It also said that signs of a rabid skunk included a ratty appearance and looking disoriented. It's tail does look a bit like the one in the photo in the linked page, but maybe that's because it got wet. And it really didn't look any more disoriented that I would if someone woke me from a deep sleep with a cold shower. There's a bare (or less-haired) patch behind the neck, but the rest of the body coat looks good and it's eyes are bright.

    I called my city animal control and they are on lockdown because of the lunatic who is...somewhere (but probably not in Big Bear). The woman did confirm that it wasn't necessarily rabid and that we were at the beginning of whelping(?) season for skunks.

    I don't own a gun, don't see enough evidence to convince me that the skunk is rabid, and I really don't think that shooting a gun in these parts would be wise given that we have jumpy police officers all over the place who shot at two women delivering newspapers and a guy going surfing not too far from my house.
    The Evil Chem Prof

  • #2
    Don't be concerned -- seeing wildlife during the day, even nocturnal species is not a cause for alarm. It probably got "watered" out of its nap or maybe it got hungry or thirsty or hot or its bed was lumpy..... You get the picture. It is perfectly normal for animals to be sighted moving about and does NOT indicate disease. If it is stumbling around running into things while drooling on itself, well, then I might think about a mercy killing, but your account would not alarm me at all.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo

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    • #3
      I see skunks in day light all the time - came up on one in my driveway yesterday. I see them more often at dusk and dawn - but around my house, and my old neighborhood as well, skunks during the day were a pretty common sight.
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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      • #4
        I wouldn't worry to much if it's just out and about minding their own business.

        Try and keep an eye on it - it may have a skin condition like mange. That can be treated but you'd want to work with a wildlife rehabber/game dept/animal control to do it right.

        They don't have very good vision, so try not to surprise it.

        Around here they are very active right now, and plenty are around in the daylight.
        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling

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        • #5
          I would worry if it isn't concerned about your presence or it comes toward you. Years ago my kids told me they were playing with their " pet raccoon " that found them in our little patch of woods by the house. I dismissed it until I went to check on them( and cousin I was watching) and to my horror there was this full grown raccoon waddling around right where they were playing! I got them all in the house, put a rubbermaid tub over it with a concrete block to hold it and called my brother in law who was on his way home from work, to let him know he had a favor to do for me. Our golden retriever who never bothered anything but the occasional opossums went to that tub and killed and buried that raccoon and she had never done anything like that before. she knew it wasn't right.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks everyone. It went scuttling off after I watered it and walked away from me when I tried to observe it from the porch. There is someone who does wildlife rescue and has a license for same in my neighborhood but I'll have to catch the neighborhood gossip to figure out who it is. Or leave a note on the rescuer's car which I can ID via its bumper stickers.
            The Evil Chem Prof

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            • #7
              Maybe so and maybe not.

              If it doesn't look "sick" (ratty appearance, abnormal gait, multiple daylight appearances, etc.) then it's probably not a danger. But if you see it regularly, it looks, ratty, has an abnormal gait, shows no fear of your appearance, etc. then you probably should take action to eliminate it.

              Rabies is nothing to "screw" with.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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              • #8
                It might be worth getting a large animal trap and setting it out for the skunk if it's hanging around. Sometimes animal shelters will have some that they loan out, if you could catch it it may be easier to get it picked up.
                My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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                • #9
                  I regularly see raccoons in the daylight but my horse vet finds this alarming. I'm not really worried because they all seem "normal" and very healthy. I HATE them with a passion and would kill them if I could but I never happen to have a weapon on me when I see them.
                  "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

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                  • #10
                    I would not worry about it. While skunks prefer to forage at dawn & dusk (they're more crepuscular than nocturnal), you will see them now & again later in the morning or earlier in the evening.

                    And think about it - you WATERED it. Lol! Chances are better than not that had you not surprised it in its hiding/snoozing spot, you would never have seen it.

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                    • #11
                      As long as your animals are vaccinated and UTD on rabies and you don't go and try to pet it LOL, you should be alright.
                      I LOVE my Chickens!

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Cat is vaccinated and hasn't show much interest in a skunk hunt. All factors being equal I would much rather have a skunk than a raccoon as they are far less destructive, IMHO. The raccoons in our neighborhood are bold and brazen.
                        The Evil Chem Prof

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                        • #13
                          Unless it's chasing you around your car (my poor mother) you should be fine!
                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have seen them out and about on a cloudy,rainy day. No problem.

                            However the one that chased me and my dog up a lane way met a quick and not surprising end. It contracted lead poisoning.
                            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                              Thanks everyone. It went scuttling off after I watered it and walked away from me when I tried to observe it from the porch. There is someone who does wildlife rescue and has a license for same in my neighborhood but I'll have to catch the neighborhood gossip to figure out who it is. Or leave a note on the rescuer's car which I can ID via its bumper stickers.
                              You can usually call a good veterinarian's office and find out the wildlife rehabber, or call Fish and Game Warden in your area, they also know.
                              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Crackerdog View Post
                                It might be worth getting a large animal trap and setting it out for the skunk if it's hanging around. Sometimes animal shelters will have some that they loan out, if you could catch it it may be easier to get it picked up.
                                DO NOT TRAP A SKUNK! I am sure you can figure out why.
                                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                                  Unless it's chasing you around your car (my poor mother) you should be fine!

                                  I was hanging out at my neighbors barn, and we were examining a suspicious hole under her mats. She has a bluestone dust base in the stalls. So we decide we're bored with guessing what species dug the hole and decide to go out for a beer instead.

                                  She goes to turn the light off, and I wander out the front of the barn to the truck - just as that skunk is coming back to finish the hole he'd started digging. I run right into him. I freak - start running around the barn, but I didn't know he'd freaked out and was running around the barn in the other direction. So I get to the back of the barn just as he did - we see each other - both go EEEEEK!- and I run back to the front of the barn where my friend meets me - laughing her a** off.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

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                                  • #18
                                    No worry on seeing one in the day time.

                                    They have a weird jack-a-lope way of going.

                                    I would set my trap and get it. I have a zero tolerance for skunks these days.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I have no intention of trapping the skunk, whom I have not seen since Monday. I haven't exactly looked carefully behind the lilies...

                                      It appears that our Fish and Game (or Fish and Wildlife as I think they're called in these parts) have also been rather busy. At least they engaged with the actual suspect and didn't take out any innocent people in the process.
                                      The Evil Chem Prof

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