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Featured wildlife: Striped Skunk

Our community has lots of skunks. We all know to keep an eye out for them when we let our dogs out in the backyard at night to relieve themselves. Yet, while skunks are mostly shy and nocturnal, they can be seen on occasion out and about in daylight. For instance, a mama skunk may need to forage for extra food before birthing her kits in the springtime. Skunks can cause us problems when their famous spray is released within smelling distance or when they nest under our houses or decks. But, for the most part, skunks are beneficial. An important part of the ecosystem, skunks eat a lot of grubs and other harmful insects, fallen fruit, and garbage. Their favorite foods include rats, mice, grubs, worms, grasshoppers and beetles. Think of them as part of the local cleanup crew!

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It’s not easy getting a photo of a nocturnal creature. Here’s a skunk out in broad daylight. This skunk’s normal behavior indicated it was probably a hungry soon-to-be Mom looking for food. Sure, skunk odor is horrible, especially if you have to de-skunk your dog. Lucky for us, though, skunks eat things we consider pests, like mice and grubs.
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