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Striped Skunk

Memphitis mephitis


Medium-small black and white mustelid characterized by black and white longitudinal stripes. Some individuals may be predominately white, some may be predominately black with white dorsal stripe. They are well adapted for digging for grubs, with long and strong front feet and nails. Also known for using noxious odor from specialized glands in the anus to deter predators.


Woodland, field and farm. And quite capable of suburban living.


**COMMON RABIES VECTOR** This individual was killed by a pet owner after it dug under a fence, into his back yard and began attacking and killing his kittens. In this photo, my double-gloved hand is pictured because I am about to decapitate the skunk for rabies testing of the brain. When you encounter a wild skunk, they will often let you approach to within a few yards. Other than the obvious odoriferous secretion with which skunks can spray you, give them a wide berth due to the possibility of rabies, and keep your pets appropriately immunized. It is humorous to note that I am doing this procedure not in my lab but outdoors on the tailgate of a pickup truck due to the odor of the individual, which I did not want inside my facility!

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Spotted by

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Jun 12, 2011
Submitted on Jun 9, 2012


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