This afternoon something black and white moving under a tree caught my eye out the window. I grabbed the binoculars and immediately identified three small skunks exploring an area near the back of the yard. I live in a small town (5600) but I am not used to seeing skunks in town, and I have no experience with them on a first hand basis. Seemed like I should let someone know about this… but who.

I tried a neighbor (who happens to be a wildlife educator also), but they weren’t home. I tried the humane society to see if they had someone who took care of these things, no one was home. After seeing the neighbors cat come to explore these new visitors, it really seemed like I should tell someone about this. I eventually gave in and called the local police. I guess I must have been naively thinking they would rush out some highly trained professional with just the right gear and equipment to safely trap and relocate these poor little critters to some beautiful baby skunk relocation park, or something. The person who answered the phone didn’t know and called the “officer on duty”. He came on and said he understood I had a rodent problem. Yes, three young skunks. His answer, “We don’t pick up dead animals”. Confused, I answer, “they are not dead animals, they are exploring my yard”. His answer, ” well… I mean…. if they become dead animals…we can’t pick them up”. Um that wasn’t actually what I had in mind. “become dead”, like some kid telling his parents…”well I was just playing with it…and it became dead”. He went on to say something to the effect that I could get permission to shoot them if I had a rifle. I don’t. and didn’t want to. There was nothing more to say. Later we saw a back neighbor out in his yard with what I hope was a pellet gun, but I don’t think he got them. I am only sorry I didn’t get close enough for a good picture of them, maybe tomorrow….