Tuesday, October 4, 2016
We were sniffing skunk around the neighborhood in late Summer but we didn’t see any. Then one morning in early Fall (you know what’s coming) I looked out the back window and saw the biggest skunk munching on our lawn. We watched as it meandered along under the bird feeders, at the edge of the hibiscus bushes, and through the dappled willow hedge on its way to our neighbor’s yard. Then we lost sight of it.
The skunk didn’t show up again and we haven’t been aware of its odor lately but the image is emblazoned in our memories. I had never seen one so large before nor one with just one large, white stripe down its back. I found out it is a particular species of skunk known as Conepatus leuconotus ( a white-backed hog-nosed skunk) that tends to inhabit Eastern Texas more than anywhere else.
I found out that skunks tend to be solitary except in breeding season, which has me wondering if there is a skunk family somewhere about. They often inhabit places where other animals have dug in the earth and we found some evidence of digging near our house.
It would be an understatement to say I am nervous about the situation. I try to remind myself that all creatures need a place to live. I wish it no harm but if it is lost, I admit that wouldn’t mind it finding its way back to its natural habitat.
General facts about skunks:
Specific facts about white-tailed hog nosed skunks:http://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/mammals/Carnivora/Mustelidae/Conepatus/Conepatus-leuconotus.html