Desert bighorn sheep, river otters and mountain lions, yes. But a hog-nosed skunk at the Grand Canyon? Hardly.
A recent sighting of the striped creature north of the Colorado River has biologists wondering whether there are more of them in the national park.
Hog-nosed skunks are primarily found in southeastern Arizona, Texas and Mexico. They're just as smelly as other skunks but distinguished in appearance by an entirely white back and tail, turned-up snout and long claws.
In August, a group of rafters noticed it in the bushes and sent pictures to the National Park Service. Grand Canyon wildlife program manager Greg Holm says biologists confirmed it was a hog-nosed skunk.
Holm guesses it could have swum across the river or come from Lake Mead. He says the park likely will add the skunk to its list of about 90 mammals.
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