Striped Skunks - Pictures
Striped Skunks - Adaptation
Striped Skunks are not aggressive. They are aware of the respect that they enjoy and will rarely run from a threat. Skunks warn the intruder by arching, elevating the tail and stomping the ground with the front feet. If the victim doesn't retreat, Skunks use the last resort - they raise the tail straight, evert their anal nipples, and spray two streams of yellow liquid 10-15 feet (3-5 m). 5-6 spurs are possible.
The mist reaches three times as far, and the smell may carry a mile, causing nausea, gagging, and extreme discomfort. If the spray gets in the eyes, it causes intense pain and fleeting loss of vision. Close approach, noise or sudden movements can trigger the spray. Carbolic soap and water are best for washing skin; the odor is removed by ammonia or tomato juice.
Striped Skunks - Threats
Striped Skunks have few enemies in the wild. Owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes, and domestic dogs occasionally take one (when young or very hungry), but most animals are repulsed by the odor of the Striped Skunk.
Rabies is widely spread among Skunks; they are the chief carriers of rabies in the US. Striped Skunks are also susceptible to canine distemper and leptospirosis.
Skunks living along highways and in the suburbs are susceptible to being struck by vehicles. It may be that because they are used to having no enemies, they don't care about cars. They are the most road-killed of animals and they seldom live more then two years in the wild, although in captivity, Striped Skunks live up to 15 years.
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