For those of you who don’t live in North America, here’s a very good video on skunks. This show was on PBS not long ago, and the striped skunks were awesome.
I can’t describe what skunk musk smells like. I really can’t.
It’s really not the smell that is bad.
It’s how it irritates your eyes and mucous membranes.
I say this as someone who has been skunked.
I had a dog that reveled in killing skunks, and she attacked one that was maybe 10 feet away from me one evening. As she shook it, the skunk wound up spraying me as “collateral damage.”
In some states, people can keep these animals as pets, but most states ban it because skunks have their own strain of rabies.
Incidentally, skunks are not weasels (Mustelids). They used to be classified with the weasels, ferrets, mink, otters, badgers, martens, and wolverines (gluttons). But now skunks and stink badegrs are in their own family called Mephitidae. Both skunks and Mustelids are members of the superfamiy Musteloidea, which includes the raccoon family (Procyonidae) and the red panda (Ailuridae). This suborder Caniformia within the order Carnivora. This suborder also includes dogs, bears, seals, sea lions and fur seals, and the walrus.
Finally, we supposedly have Eastern spotted skunks in West Virginia, but I have never seen one here. Those are the skunks that do handstands.