Misunderstood skunks are gentle, near-sighted animals with one infamous—and pungent—defense mechanism.

Skunks were once killed for their fur, but these days, they’re more commonly vulnerable to extermination or unnecessary (and often lethal) relocation by wildlife control operators. Skunks thrive in urban and suburban settings, but if they’re moved to unknown turf, they will struggle to survive and may leave vulnerable babies behind. Some wildlife control companies inject chemical solvents into skunks’ chests using a long pole syringe, causing a painful death. Learn how to deal with skunk problems

Cute skunk in the grass.
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Skunks are not a threat.

Skunks avoid humans and display several warning behaviors before spraying. They are one of nature’s best gardeners, mainly eating grubs, insects and rodents. Leash dogs, heed warning behaviors like stomping and hissing and, if needed, choose humane wildlife control professionals to help address conflicts.

Did you know?

Skunks adore cheese and can be lured out of window wells and garages with the stinky stuff.

Sad dog outside in the mud

For every animal saved, there are countless others who still need someone to be their voice. Start saving lives today.

Kathy Milani / The HSUS