What I learned From Finding Baby Skunks in the Forest
Start writing a post


Disclaimer: do not approach wildlife, particularly if it's with its family. Appreciate nature and don't interfere with it.


In early July, my parents were driving along a forest road on a cold rainy day near Flagstaff, AZ. They stopped suddenly when they saw a small black furry lump on the side of the road. Both got out of the truck and cautiously prodded the thing with a twig. The baby skunk rolled over and grabbed the twig between its tiny bear-like paws. My parents looked around the area for signs of its family and when they found nothing, they picked it up and brought it back to our campsite and RV.


When my dad woke me up from a sickness-induced nap, I screamed and startled the baby skunk before realizing that it was completely harmless. It didn't resist being held and would fall asleep wherever it could. We went into Flagstaff to buy it some formula to put into a syringe after intensely googling what to do. After being fed, we let it fall asleep in a cat carrier lined with rags. On the way back to our RV, we searched the area where we found the baby and saw another. We set the first skunk on the ground and it ran to its sibling and began wrestling with it, making little chattering noises. Against all odds, we had found a male and female baby skunk who were likely orphaned. We checked back in and around the area every few hours to make sure their mother wasn't looking for them. We never found anything.


For the brief day that we kept the skunks, we joked about carrying it to grocery stores and frightening people with it, or inviting people over and not telling them about our "pet skunks." We played with them as they bounced around the forest underbrush of our campsite, and they followed us as we walked. They fell asleep in our laps and arms after hours of playing. We became their temporary family.


It should be noted that skunks do not develop their scent glands that make the famous skunk stench until they are three months old. These skunks only smelled like wet puppies. It seems unfair that people should be frightened of an animal that was so docile and playful. As is the case with many animals, society absurdly demonizes animals that are simply defending themselves in their own environments. Skunks are no different. Though it's illegal in my own state, people elsewhere choose to keep skunks as pets. I myself have never thought of skunks as being anything but elusive stinky nuisances, but ever since we gave these babies to a wildlife foster home, I have missed them. This experience has shown me that there is beauty even in the most unlikely creatures, and they all deserve respect.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1132772

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

717153
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

737337
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

475168
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

291944
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

432806

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

291096

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

195690
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments