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Baby skunks at WildCare

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Baby skunk at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance
Seven little skunks were orphaned when their den was destroyed. This photo of one baby was taken the morning after they were admitted to WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance

When workmen at a Mill Valley storage facility moved a heavy storage container, they were astonished to find these roly-poly babies spilling out from behind it.

Unfortunately the mother skunk had chosen an unsafe place to have her babies. Moving the massive storage container destroyed her den and wiped out her nursery, leaving her babies exposed.

Although the little skunks are plump and healthy, the situation and quantity of heavy equipment at the storage facility rendered reuniting them with their mother impossible. They'll remain at WildCare to grow up in Foster Care.

These babies were only about one week old at intake on April 21, 2013, and their eyes and ears are still sealed closed.

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WildCare is their only hope...

An newly orphaned wild baby has nowhere else to go. WildCare offers his only chance at life.

Too small to survive on his own after something happened to his mother, he needs warmth, safety and proper nutrition to survive. If he's injured, he needs medical treatment too.

You can help! Donate now to support the tiny orphans in our Wildlife Hospital!
Baby skunk at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance
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Baby skunk at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance
Baby skunks at this age can't spray, and they have a pleasant musky scent. Photo by Alison Hermance  
Baby skunk pile. Photo by Alison Hermance  
These roly-poly little babies need to be fed every three hours, and they sleep piled together for warmth. Photo by Alison Hermance  
Baby skunk at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance  
These babies' eyes are still closed and won't open for approximately another week. Photo by Alison Hermance  

So what do tiny baby skunks smell like? Not like their adult counterparts, fortunately.

At this age, the little ones have a distinctive but not unpleasant musky odor. When combined with the milky scent of the special skunk formula they are fed every three hours around the clock, these little ones smell a bit like dark chocolate— not at all unpleasant.

When they are about three weeks old their scent glands have developed enough to register the familiar smell of skunk.

Over the next couple of months these little babies will learn how to use their distinctive defense mechanism. It takes some skill to effectively aim a blinding jet of scent right into the face of a predator, so adolescent skunks take practice shots during play to improve their aim.

It's a WildCare Foster Care volunteer with a special domestic arrangement that is able to care for these babies until they are old enough for release!

These little omnivores will also have to be taught what adult skunks eat and where to find it. Because of their dining preferences, skunks actually make great neighbors. They eat all the things in your yard you'd just as soon be rid of including slugs, snails, mice and rats. A resident skunk living under your garage will effectively keep your garden free of these pests.

Wildlife Rescue Guide

When the workmen uncovered these baby skunks and saw how small they were, it was very obvious that they needed to be rescued. Any baby with her eyes still sealed shut is too young to be away from her mother and needs immediate help!

But sometimes it's hard to tell if a baby animal needs rescue. Remember to ask yourself, "Is that baby O-K?" and look for the Five C's which indicate an animal needs emergency care.

For more extensive information to help you determine if a wild animal needs rescue, click to read our Wildlife Rescue Guide!

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