Animal Health & Welfare



Natural History:


  • There are 4 species of Skunk in North America, Striped being the most common.
  • About the size of a house cat; measure 20 to 30 inches long and weigh 6 to 10 lbs.
  • Skunks have a small head and eyes, pointed snout, and strong forefeet and long nails for digging.
  • Range: Central Canada, throughout the United States, and south into the northern parts of Mexico.
  • Omnivorous: feeding on small rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, insects, eggs, acorns, and fallen fruit. Skunks are beneficial in keeping the rodent population in check and it is estimated that 70 % of a Skunk’s diet consists of insects considered harmful to humans such as black widow spiders and scorpions.
  • Predators: Humans (automobiles), and Great-Horned Owls
  • Generally nocturnal, begin foraging at sunset.
  • Infamous means of self-defense: Skunks have the ability to spray their enemies with a chemical compound that burns the eyes and nose of their target and can sometimes cause nausea. This is a last resort. If approached and they’re unable to flee, Skunks will fluff their fur, shake their tail, stamp the ground, and sometimes stand on their hind legs before spraying.
  • In the wild, Skunks den in shallow burrows or hollow logs near water sources. In urban environments, they den beneath buildings, decks, dumps, and woodpiles.
  • Skunks are capable of carrying disease such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus just like all other species of mammal (including humans). Be familiar with some symptoms such as paralysis, unsteadiness, discharges from nose and eyes or extreme lethargy and call your local wildlife rehabilitation center if you think an animal is in trouble.
  • There are vaccinations for these diseases available for your pets. They are fully protected if they remain up to date on their shots.

Common Skunks Questions & Answers

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc.

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24-Hour Hotline: 830.336.2725

Address: 1354 Basse Road, San Antonio, TX 78212  •  Web Address:

Should you find a wild animal in crisis, or need emergency assistance with a wild animal, please contact WRR, 24-hours a day.

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