Tillsonburg’s own ‘Skunk Lady’ has come to the long-distance rescue of a striped supplicant in need.
Historian, environmentalist, Tillsonburg News columnist and particular fan of things black, white and potentially fragrant, Laurel Beechey, known in some quarters as ‘The Skunk Lady,’ recently received an email from a like-minded – and concerned – resident of Brantford.
“I have a little skunk who comes to my kitchen window every night for the past couple of years. Tonight I noticed it has a plastic thing around its neck and I don't know how to help, since it would have to be caught somehow to get it off its neck.”
Beechey’s response, it must be clarified, did not come with a ‘no-spray’ guarantee. It must be added, caution should be exercised when approaching any wild animal, particularly those with the potential for carrying disease.
Animals seem to know who to go to in times of need. Skunks don’t spray unless they are threatened and your little guy should be pretty used to your area and very comfortable if he comes around continuously. I would think he would allow you to remove the thing. Approach him so he can see you. They don’t see well past four feet so talk softly and gently as you approach. Make all movements slow and easy.
In response, Beechey received the following email:
“Success, trapped him and cut this off his neck this morning. This is where garbage ends up! OMG he's cute and wasn't afraid of me.”
Beechey was only too happy to pass along this ‘happy ending’ story, along with an embedded message on the value of recycling, or at the very least, necessity for properly disposing of garbage. Failing to do so, as this incident illustrates, can be dangerous to wildlife – including skunks.
“The moral of the story is: If ‘they’ had taken their garbage home, washing and recycling it, the skunk would not have put his head in the container and gotten it stuck,” commented Beechey via email. “It most likely would have strangled the skunk.”