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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Is it safe to handle a skunk with bare hands?

Is it safe to handle a skunk with bare hands?

No matter whether you find a baby skunk, or a big skunk, it is never wise to attempt to handle it with bare hands. Skunks can carry a number of diseases including rabies. In fact, they are one of the most common carriers of the deadly disease. Skunks also have sharp teeth and claws used to fend off threats, and grown skunks have a rather unpleasant natural defense- the ability to “spray” a horrid stench on you that will not wash off. Often if you see baby skunks playing alone, they are not necessarily abandoned. They are more than likely playing under the watchful eye of their mother who is lurking just out of sight.

She will not take kindly to you grabbing her babies. If you find a skunk and feel as though it needs attention, call a local animal rehab center, animal control, or a professional animal removal service immediately. If you are not able to contact professional help, and you have to move the skunk, there are precautions you should take. If you have the opportunity, you can set out a live trap and wait for the skunk to wander in. If this is not an option, using a pole net (large net on the end of a pole), or a pole snare (an adjustable cable loop on the end of a pole) is another good choice.

As a last resort, you can throw a large cloth like a blanket or sheet over the skunk, and then scoop it up in a bundle. It is important that you have a cage, box, or other carrier ready to put the skunk in, no matter how you catch it. It is also a good idea to wear protective clothing and goggles to protect your hands, arms, and eyes. Once you have the skunk in captivity, be sure to contact someone who can help you relocate it safely.

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