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One less skunk in the neighborhood

Charley Najacht
Published: Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I realize there is a reason God created all creatures on the earth including snakes and spiders, but I really have a difficult time understanding why skunks are here. Granted, they are kind of cute and make for great illustrations in children’s books, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned.
Some states do allow you to keep a skunk as a pet as long as the odorous stink glands are removed. Geney Ziolkowski, Custer’s animal control officer, said they are legal here, decented or not. She said she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting a skunk as a pet that is not decented. Neither can I.
“But if that skunk, decented or not, bit anyone, the state would take custody of it and have a vet kill it and send the head off to be tested for rabies. No deviation; that is an absolute. Skunks are one of the most avid carriers of rabies,” Geney said.
Several weeks ago Norma said I had to do something about the skunk smell that wafted in our open screen door every night while we were sleeping. She smelled it first and rolled out of bed to slide the door shut.
What is it that makes that smell so pungent and repulsive? I did a little research and found that skunks actually have two glands, one on each side of the anus, that produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as methyl and butyl thiols.

I realize there is a reason God created all creatures on the earth including snakes and spiders, but I really have a difficult time understanding why skunks are here. Granted, they are kind of cute and make for great illustrations in children’s books, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned.

Some states do allow you to keep a skunk as a pet as long as the odorous stink glands are removed. Geney Ziolkowski, Custer’s animal control officer, said they are legal here, decented or not. She said she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting a skunk as a pet that is not decented. Neither can I.

“But if that skunk, decented or not, bit anyone, the state would take custody of it and have a vet kill it and send the head off to be tested for rabies. No deviation; that is an absolute. Skunks are one of the most avid carriers of rabies,” Geney said.

Several weeks ago Norma said I had to do something about the skunk smell that wafted in our open screen door every night while we were sleeping. She smelled it first and rolled out of bed to slide the door shut.

What is it that makes that smell so pungent and repulsive? I did a little research and found that skunks actually have two glands, one on each side of the anus, that produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as methyl and butyl thiols.

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