Skunks are born blind and deaf. They are literally helpless at birth, and so when you see a baby skunk wandering around, it may not be as helpless as you suppose. Skunk pups stay with their moms until they are about four weeks old and can hunt for themselves. Skunks are protective and caring mothers that do not leave their pups behind except in cases where they lose the pups in fight or flight. You may also see the pup wandering around the corpse of its mother or hanging to it. In this case, you are dealing with an orphaned skunk.

What to Do
A wandering young skunk may not necessarily be an orphaned skunk. Most skunks on the verge of adulthood love to explore and scavenge for themselves and often leave their mom. So you must be sure that you are dealing with an orphaned pup before intervening.

An orphaned skunk is one that has lost its mom to death or removal by the homeowner.
Skunks are carriers of diseases and illnesses that may cause harmful health conditions to people, so do not be in a hurry to help a wandering skunk. They are also vicious creatures that attack when they feel trapped; therefore, it is wise to calmly observe the wandering pup from a safe distance.

Carry out a simple distance examination, checking for the following:
· Weight loss or cachexia: The baby skunk's general appearance will inform you of its health state and the length it has gone without food.
· The skunk's gait: The pup's posture while walking is a good pointer to disease conditions or the skunk's health. When the skunk is not steady or arches its limbs when walking, it may be a sign of illness or pain.
· Matted Fur: A healthy skunk should have a clean appearance and a shiny coat. When its fur is dirty and matted, it may be a sign of illness.
· Injuries: External body injuries also alert you of fights that may be responsible for the loss of the mother skunk and may need dressing and care.

If a healthy skunk pup is wandering around your yard, it may be in search of food or shelter. Do not engage the pup, however, as it may be harboring diseases as a reservoir host.

Avoid startling or scaring them to avoid getting skunk bites or sprayed. Act calmly and gently around them, especially if they are already showing signs of excitement or agitation.

You can throw a laundry basket over the pup as a temporary cage and then use gloved hands and a towel to move the pup into a better cage. Take measures to wear protective clothing when handling a pup to avoid accidents.

Call a professional: There are wildlife control and removal experts in every state with skills, tools, and experience to relocate the skunk pups to better homes and rehabilitation centers. These professionals will better handle the skunks because they have studied animal behaviors and patterns and also understand the laws governing animal relocation in your state.

Never attempt to raise skunk pups on your own as pets. Instead, call the state's wildlife department or wildlife removal professionals when you notice the skunks in your yard. Also, keep young children and pets away from the skunks and do not attempt to feed them or invite them into your home. When you have constant skunk visits in your yard, remove skunk attractants and seal up entry points. In the case of a skunk infestation, call professionals for removal and relocation.

Go back to the Monroe wildlife removal home page.