Skunks. Have you smelled one lately?
Well, you might be smelling their scent more these next few months.
We all remember this friendly French-striped skunk Pepé Le Pew. He's always on the hunt to find love, and in real life, skunks are looking for love now, in the months of February and March.
“We have some warmer weather; mating season is upon us so they will be more active,” said Sam Corbett, of the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.
The center helps unwanted or injured animals, like some mammals and birds, and said there's a reason why skunks spray.
“Skunks have that scent they are famous for and it’s just a protection for them,” Corbett said.
During the mating season, other experts say the scent is from the female who doesn't want any love, but spraying isn't something they want to use often.
“They're not trying to spray everything that comes near them because they only have a certain amount of the scent in the glands and once they use it, the defense is gone,” Corbett said.
Skunks aren't vicious animals. They actually give you warning signs to leave them alone before they spray.
“Their first warning sign is their coloration, they're not trying to blend in with that white stripe down the back and they're telling you, don't come near me,” Corbett said.
They also use their feet as a second warning.
“They stomp their feet for someone to hear them and then if that doesn't work, they'll turn around and lift that tail and spray,” Corbett said, adding that it could take a week or less to replenish.
Skunks have terrible eyesight and can only see close-up. They're also nocturnal so they're more active at night.
“The best thing to do is look at it from afar and slowly back away and you don't want to make them nervous. They can't see very well at all. So keep your distance and not too close,” Corbett said.
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