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Feeding Wild Skunks

[Summary]Four Reasons Not to Feed Wildlife Skunks » PAWS The skunk family (Mephitidae) consists of 13 species, almost all of which are restricted to the New World from Southern Canada to the Strait of Magellan in South America. The exception are Stink Badgers


Four Reasons Not to Feed Wildlife

Feeding Wild Skunks

Skunks » PAWS

The skunk family (Mephitidae) consists of 13 species, almost all of which are restricted to the New World from Southern Canada to the Strait of Magellan in South America. The exception are Stink Badgers who can be found in Indonesia. Skunks are known for their ability to spray a strong smelling liquid to ward off predators.

Diet | Skunk Veterinary Care

Some skunk owners supplement with calcium with varying degrees of success. It is not uncommon for skunks on calcium supplements to have low bone density, bone spurs, arthritis and fused bones because other factors needed for absorption are not present. If you choose to supplement, discuss this with a vet knowledgeable about skunks. Most will advise against supplementation. A better choice for minerals is food grade diatomaceous earth. Perma Guard has a safe and inexpensive DE that can be given to skunks. It is dosed at one teaspoon once daily or 1/2 teaspoon twice daily. DE contains all the minerals needed for healthy, strong bones without the dangers of using calcium. If you are giving a multivitamin, make sure the calcium content does not exceed 75mg.


In other animals, musk is used for scent-marking and courtship. Only the skunks have turned musk into olfactory muscle. When an adult skunk or its young are threatened, they may emit a musky fluid from a nozzlelike duct that protrudes from the animal’s anus. This fluid—nature’s version of tear gas—can be discharged either in a fine mist or in a water-pistol-type stream. It has a stifling, pungent, often gagging odor that can persist for weeks and be detected over a mile away. On a still day, a skunk can discharge musk 12 feet with good accuracy. On a windy day, spray may reach a person standing downwind 18 feet away or more. Because even a few droplets of skunk spray smell so strongly, it doesn’t take a direct hit to pick up the odor.

Skunks as pets

A pet skunk

Although capable of living indoors with humans similarly to cats or dogs, pet skunks are relatively rare, partly due to restrictive laws and the complexity of their care. Pet skunks are mainly kept in the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy.

In the United States, pet skunks can be purchased from licensed animal shelters, non-profit skunk educational organizations such as the American Domestic Skunk Association, Inc., or breeders with a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Baby skunk availability peaks during springtime, immediately following the skunk mating season. Some large fur farms sell surplus skunks to pet stores.

Feeding Wildlife

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Feeding Wildlife

A Wrong Choice

Whatever the intentions may be, whether it is to have a closer encounter with wildlife, to help animals in the winter or to increase the number of available game animals, numerous problems arise when we feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife interferes with a natural healthy balance between wildlife populations and their habitat. For this reason, and for many others identified on this page, wildlife biologists suggest to "just say no" to feeding wildlife.

Feeding Wildlife Babies « Bi-State Wildlife Hotline Inc.

If you have found a wildlife baby and are considering feeding it and/or raising it yourself, please consider the following:

Sick Baby Squirrel

Why is it that when we find a baby squirrel, bunny, bird or even a puppy or kitten the FIRST thing that we want to do is FEED it? Chalk it up to motherly instincts, or just a need to do something-anything to help this poor little thing – Whatever the cause, it can be absolutely deadly to wildlife babies for the public to feed them. Everyone knows someone who once raised a baby squirrel, or raccoon, or bird. We know it happens, and we’re okay with that to some extent. We just wish that we could impress upon the public that your neighbor, uncle, old friend who successfully raised that baby – They got LUCKY. Some babies, depending on age, size, temperment, and health will survive regardless of how wrongly it is fed and raised. This is NOT the case 99% of the time.

Skunks Management Guidelines--UC IPM

UC IPM Home > Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf > Skunks

How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Revised 4/15

In this Guideline:


Biology and behavior

Legal status

About Pest Notes


Adult spotted skunk, Spilogale gracilis.

Adult striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis.

A one-way door constructed to allow an animal to exit but not to return.


13-2927. Unlawful feeding of wildlife; classification

A. A person commits unlawful feeding of wildlife by intentionally, knowingly or recklessly feeding, attracting or otherwise enticing wildlife into an area, except for:

1. Persons lawfully taking or holding wildlife pursuant to title 17 or pursuant to rules or orders of the Arizona game and fish commission.

[Editor: Admin]
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