The saga continues. The morning after I discovered the squatters were skunks, I called the Nuisance Wildlife Control man and told him what I had seen. He said if the babies aren’t old enough to follow mom out to forage in the night that they will not come out and get in the traps. What does that mean? We have to wait until they are bigger. So, for now, we are stuck with a family that is refusing to follow the eviction notice Tippy and I have given them.
Since there was nothing in the traps, I sprung them so that we wouldn’t catch one of them and then be in a real pickle.
This week, Tippy and I have been trying to see if we can tell how many skunks are actually living there so we will be sure we have them all once we can trap them.
One night I saw not one, but two adults. I googled skunks and found out that the males have nothing to do with raising the young, but sometimes females will share a den. So, I probably have not one, but two squatter families! I tried to get a picture through the window, using a flash. This was NOT the best idea I have ever had.
I did find out that it scares the adults, who came running back under the porch to protect their young. They did emerge again, about 5 minutes later. I tried to get a picture without the flash, but it didn’t turn out too well either. If you look hard enough between the rails in the middle, you can see a white fuzzy spot that is the tail of a skunk.
Another night, I decided to be adventurous, and actually went out onto the porch to watch them come out, try to count them, and get a picture. I saw only one adult, almost pure white, and six little ones. Mom took them just into the edge of the woods and then back to the porch. She left and went a different way, walking right past where I was standing. (The porch at that point is about 5 feet off of the ground, so I wasn’t at her level.) The babies ventured out into the edge of the woods again, and then ran back to the safety of the porch. It was pretty cute, I have to admit. The only picture I got was of the mom…but, as you can see, it isn’t very good either, even with editing. Phone cameras are not the best for this scenario. The skunk is about a quarter of the way down on the right hand side.
In the meantime, Tippy is being very vigilant about keeping an eye, or nose, on them.
She has also found out that she can get part of the way under the walkway. She gets under there and barks. I know she can’t see them from there, but I’ll bet the smell is a lot stronger, since that is where they come and go. I know in my head that she is probably less likely to get sprayed from there than when she is barking right over the den opening, but, for some reason, it makes me more nervous. If I find out she is there, I make her come out.
Then, I usually make her come in the house to take a break. I don’t think she likes that, but she makes the best of a bad situation.
I plan to continue to try to count how many members of the squatter family (families) there are and hopefully get some better pictures. Stay tuned. Fingers and paws crossed that no one gets sprayed.