What’s that smell?

August 27, 2011 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Watch Nature “Is That Skunk?” at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 28 on Wisconsin Public Television.


I never thought I would see the day when a skunk became a household pet. Growing up, we were always told to stay away from skunks if we had the misfortune of running into one. The idea of smelling terrible for a week made the lesson quite memorable.

Somehow we’ve turned the tables and instead of running in the other direction, people are naming them and welcoming them into their homes. I suppose if you can get past the chemical spray they produce, they’re kind of cute. Luckily there’s a procedure to remove the glands responsible for the smell. Still not sure I’d want to live with an animal that used to produce something so foul, not to mention flammable.

I think my only memorable run-in with a skunk was several years ago on a camping trip. What looked like a small black cat was swimming across the river, we didn’t even realize it was a skunk until it finally reached land and revealed its white stripes. Not exactly an unpleasant encounter, but I think I’ll stick with cats and dogs.

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