Skunks are unusual mammals. On the one hand, they are all known for their ability to distinguish a strong and unpleasant odor. On the other hand, what else do we know about skunks? They dwell in America, so it’s not surprising the emergence of numerous myths about these beings far from us. So let’s learn about them a little more.


Skunks are carriers of the rabies virus.

It is said that these creatures can infect rabies of other mammals by biting them. In fact, skunks do not stand out in this respect – the bite of one animal to another, the sick, leads to the transmission of the virus. And most wild animals avoiding skunks are not at all because of their rabid temper and fear of contracting, but simply afraid of spraying the fetid liquid. That is why there is little chance that a skunk will bite another animal at all.

Skunks are the main carriers of rabies.

It turns out that unvaccinated street cats and stray dogs have a much greater risk of catching rabies because of the high probability of contact with wild creatures. Statistics of rabies are skewed bias, in every US state the first places for infection are occupied by other creatures.

Foam at the mouth of the skunk says of his fury.

In fact, such a symptom can also indicate plague, coccidia, roundworms, mites, other external or internal parasites, diabetes, poisoning, liver problems, epilepsy, allergies, herpes, dehydration or exhaustion. All these factors occur in the animal more often than rabies.

The bite of a mad skunk leads to death.

Statistics show that of the 70% of victims of skunks, no one was ill with rabies or anything else if the wound was properly inspected and cleaned. Nevertheless, we should not ignore reasonable security measures.

After the rehabilitation of animals, orphans infected with rabies can be released to freedom.

If everything is done correctly, then this is unlikely to happen. The baby skunks falls for rehabilitation at four to five months of age. If he were infected with a rabies virus, he would have died by that time. The skunks that are released are under observation long enough to be sure that they do not get rabies.

Skunks can be a carrier of rabies virus for up to two years.

This statement has never been confirmed. And even if it were true, you can get rabies from an infected animal, which will not show any symptoms for a week. And it does not matter at the same time, how much it is sick – two weeks or two years. The virus will be transmitted by saliva from the animal, which may well seem safe.

Scientists believe that the only way to test a skunk for rabies is by removing the head and studying the brain. This approach seems rather cruel. There are much more humane procedures that can be carried out with live skunks. They consist of analyzing saliva, lacrimal canals, hair follicles and estrogen. True, such studies can not fully give an accurate answer. It is believed that you can take a sample of the brain tissue through a small hole in the skull, without damaging the very important organ. So you can find out the truth about the state of the skunk, not depriving him of life.

Against rabid skunks, there is no vaccine.

There is documented evidence that the rabies vaccine for skunks is and works 100%. A person receives immunity for a period of one to two years. In this case, the drug is not just approved, its action is proven. Such a vaccine really helps in the fight against rabies of skunks.

Skunks that wander in the daytime are a clear sign of rabies.

Although skunks are considered nocturnal animals, they can go out hunting and in the afternoon if they need food. But trying to deceive skunks by placing pet food outside the house during the day does not work. Can appear unless the orphans, who are concerned about the search for the missing mother. These skunks are most often seen during the day.

You can get infected from the skunk by rabies from getting fluid in your eyes.

Transmission of rabies is possible only after the bite of the animal. Very seldom happened, when the virus got through the blood from the brain of a sick animal when it was prepared or as a spray from a bullet that hit the head.

Because of getting into the eye, the skunk spray can be blinded.

Indeed, sometimes there were cases when animals or people even died because of sputtering by a skunk of a protective liquid. However, not the spray itself caused the death, just stress caused a heart attack. In one case, the dog could not get rid of the fetid liquid that had fallen on him, and in another case the person had such a sick heart that any stress would lead to tragedy. Blindness is a temporary reaction of the body to the corrosive liquid that has entered the eye.


Spoon skunk is actually his urine.

Skunk releases a caustic yellow oily foamy spray, but it’s not urine at all. The liquid appears from a special gland, hidden inside the anal area.

Skunks attack each other with spray.

These animals never spray their protective fluid on top of each other. Perhaps a little involuntary allocation in the heat of the fight, games, when multiplying or injuring. However, this quickly passes.

Skunks constantly secrete their liquid.

If these animals are not attacked or threatened by their children, they rarely secrete a protective fluid. Yes, and before you start your fragrant defense, skunks make a few warning signs with your body and tail. The fact is that this spray is a valuable substance for the body, which can be used only in the most critical situations. In an ideal situation, the skunk generally does not spray anything throughout its life. The reserve of fluid in the glands is contained in 5-6 shots and a full recovery will take about 10 days.

Skunk can not spray spray if their feet are not on the ground.

Some trustful people, trusting such a myth, fearlessly take the skunk in their hands. They also say that an anus covered with a tail or an animal suspended by a tail, I guarantee safety. People attack these animals in general infrequently, trusting such statements. In fact, nothing prevents an animal from doing this when the tail is raised or lowered, when it makes a stand on the paws or even being suspended by the tail. Just in such an unusual situation, the skunk does not always make the decision to defend itself.

Skunks are very fragrant.

These animals are actually very clean, in fact they smell better than dogs. A stench comes directly from the spray in case of protection of secretions.

Skunks know how to climb and jump well.

Only a spotted skunk can move so energetically. But striped skunks have limited opportunities to overcome high barriers. They can not climb the legs of the table or jump like a wild cat. So do not be afraid that this animal stole food. His lot, rather, garbage cans, and a picnic blanket on the ground. The skunk can get to the target using bags of rubbish or benches. And to climb over the fence, he will need a branchy bush or a large pile of building materials. Yes, and falling down can be so strong that the skunk can not rise. So do not be afraid of the fact that these animals will make their way into the house by attic, chimney or roof. If the smell of a skunk appeared in the house, then there is a small probability of penetration of the animal itself. Most likely the liquid particle was brought by an owl, which at one time killed the skunk.

Skunks kill chickens.

These animals can not chase and catch fast victims, such as rats, mice or chicken. Exceptions are only dead, wounded or trapped animals or birds. The lot of skunks is eating eggs, slow chickens or kids in nests.

Skunks are useless creatures.

For a balance of nature, skunks are very important.They decrease rodents, spiders, rattlesnakes, scorpions and other garden pests. Their victims are gophers, larvae, cockroaches, snails and crickets.

Skunk is a ferret.

For a long time it was believed that this family was part of the kuni, which included, in particular, ferrets and weasels. However, recent detailed studies have revealed that skunks form their own family and are closer to pandas than to kunim or raccoon.

Skunks are domesticated.

It is believed that the creature is domesticated if it already lives for more than three generations near the person. The Indians began to tame the Skunks. Now many such animals live at home, for which they cut out that very iron. Some breeders breed for up to 60 years. However, in nature skunks are numerous and they are not even considered protected species.

If a domesticated skunk escapes to freedom, it will be easy to survive there.

Only wild mothers teach their cubs to survive in the wild. In addition, pets are usually deprived of their useful gland and can not deter predators, protecting themselves. So the chances of surviving in nature with such skunks are practically nonexistent.

If the home skunk runs away, it becomes a spreader of diseases of its wild counterparts.

Home pets do not run the risk of getting rabies, because when they are bred they get vaccinated. Such skunks are much healthier than their wild counterparts.

Skunks are nocturnal.

More precisely, this way of life will be called twilight. On the hunt skunks come out before nightfall and early in the morning.

Skunks are widespread.

You will not find such animals in our region. Their homeland is America. Striped skunks are found from Costa Rica to the south of Canada, spotty – from British Columbia to Costa Rica, and pig skunks – from Argentina to the south of the US. And only smelly badgers, who are also ranked among the skunk family, live on the islands of Indonesia.

Skunks are predators.

These creatures are omnivorous and eat not only worms, insects, small vertebrates, but also plants, grains, kidneys, if necessary. They do not disdain carrion.


Skunks have no natural enemies.

Despite their specific odor, these animals are still being pursued by others. The natural enemies of young skunks are foxes, coyotes, lynxes, cougars and badgers. Young individuals are still unfamiliar with the peculiarity of the defense of this beast, and therefore attack it. Of particular danger are predatory birds, in which the sense of smell is much worse than in mammals.

Skunks are active all year round.

Animals living in northern lands fall into hibernation in winter. To do this, they seek out a burrow or dig it out for themselves. When the finished place is found, the skunk pulls there grass and leaves, forming a nest.

The smell of the skunk is quickly eroded.

The liquid that gets on the clothing can not be taken out – it is necessary to burn things. People try to fight the smell with gasoline, vinegar and even tomato juice, but these folk remedies only mask the smell without removing it. And dry cleaners use hydrogen peroxide to fight against it.

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