Apr 7, 2013

Skunk in a Conibear

This morning, WES was alerted of a skunk in a trap, which is not unusual. WES receives a number of these types of calls each year - skunks inadvertently trapped in 'humane' cage traps, but this was different... this skunk was caught in a Conibear - a spring-loaded, jaw-like trap meant to crush and kill small mammals quickly. It was set to kill ground squirrels.

While there are restrictions on size, placement and use of these types of lethal traps to prevent incidental take of non-target species like this, accidents happen.

Skunks eat many things, including rodents. It was Thursday night when this skunk was investigating the entrance to a ground squirrel den, possibly looking for a meal, when she encountered the 
trap. Metal bars snapped shut around her neck, restricting her breathing.

Amazingly, she was able to struggle some distance away and was spotted by 

neighbors Friday morning, but she disappeared into dense brush before they could call for help.

This morning - over 48 hours later - she was spotted again, at the base of an old oak tree about 
100 yards from where she was first snared.

WES' founder, Rebecca Dmytryk, arrived on scene quickly. She was greeted by the family reporting the skunk and the neighbor who had set the trap. Together, they worked to free the animal, but it wasn't easy. Check out the video, below.

The adult female skunk was in bad shape. She was quickly transported to Native Animal Rescue's, Monique - an expert skunk rehabilitator.

There, the skunk received immediate critical care to try and save its life.
When faced with a wild animal that appears to be suffering so, it's natural for a rehabilitator to question whether treatment might simply prolong the animal's misery. In this case, the skunk had fought so hard to survive, giving it a chance to beat the odds seemed like the right thing to do. A little time will tell.

UPDATE: 4-7-13 16:20 

We received word that the skunk swallowed some critical care formula, and seems to be sleeping more contently.


We will post updates as we receive them. Stay tuned.