The striped skunk is a member of the Mustelid family well known for its pungent defence mechanism.
|Common Name||Striped Skunk|
|Scientific Name||Mephitis mephitis|
|Native to||North America|
|Natural Habitat||Many habitats from deserts and plains to woodland edges and urban areas|
|Diet||Omnivorous, eating lots of invertebrates but also other small animals and vegetation|
|Life Expectancy||5-10 years|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern (3.1)|
About our skunks
We have 3 skunks at the park, a male and female pair called Smokey and Bandit, and one of their youngsters, called Eric.
How we care for our skunks
Our skunks are now housed in our new outdoor skunk enclosure in our arboretum. This enclosure gives our skunks a huge amount of space to explore, lots of different substrates and items to interact with and items to play with.
Our skunks have two shelters, which are heated to 18°c using thermostated heat lamps, to make sure they have a cosy indoor area to return to in bad weather.
We feed our skunks a vareity of fruit, vegetables and invertebrates daily.
They have three water bowls - one inside each of their houses, and one outside.
What you can do to help skunks
Although skunks are not threatened in the wild, they sometimes kept as exotic pets. They can be difficult to care for - not least because a worried skunk can get quite smelly! It used to be common practice to remove the scent glands of pet skunks, so their main form of defence was taken from them.
You can help skunks by:
- being aware that in the UK it is not legal to de-scent a skunk
- thinking carefully before you buy an exotic pet, to make sure that you'll be able to properly care for them