Nov 26, 2013

Rescue of a striped skunk

This morning we received a call through the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter about a skunk at a high school. A Watsonville Police officer was on scene.

The skunk was trapped in a narrow cement channel alongside a classroom - it had been there since Monday. 

Skunks are skilled excavators, but they don't climb well, not even short vertical walls. Without food and shelter, a trapped animal won't last long.

This particular skunk had been entrapped since Sunday night, so it'd been without food and water and exposed to the elements for at least one full day. To make matters worse, a few students were seen throwing rocks at it.

One student, though, a 9th grader, had the courage to try and save the poor animal. 

Earlier this morning, Luis and his friend Andrew tried to give the skunk a lift out of the channel, unfortunately though, during the process the skunk sprayed, thwarting their good deed.

WES was called to assist. Check out the video of its rescue below:

The skunk was taken back to WES headquarters, just a few miles away, and provided a warm, dark safe place to rest. It was offered a platter of scrambled egg, sliced apple, a mouse, a dollop of yogurt and some water. 

At dusk, the skunk, looking very bright and alert, was transported home, near where it was found. Luis was invited to participate.

To honor his extraordinary efforts to save the skunk, we allowed Luis to free the skunk. Once the door was open, everyone stood back, quiet and motionless as the crate was tipped. Skunks have very poor eyesight and will walk right by you if you're still.

Once the skunk was out of the crate, it took off, galloping passed Luis, across the parking lot and into a large open field adjacent the school. 

Before leaving, our team took the opportunity to share some information about skunks with Luis, like, that skunks are omnivores, feeding on rodents, invertebrates, fruits and vegetables, and insects. In the Native American practice of "animal medicine" - the awareness a particular animal can bring to one's consciousness, the skunk symbolizes self respect.

From Medicine Cards

Once again, a huge THANK YOU! to Luis for his compassion and courage! 
Thank you for caring enough to try and help an animal in distress. 
You're a real hero!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very heartwarming to know that among ignorant, rock-throwing juveniles there was one young man with heart and compassion. Luis is a hero and should be very proud. The cute skunk was lucky Luis came to his rescue. Great work WES as usual.