Young Skunk(s) Alone
Young skunks often explore their new world during the daytime. Seeing healthy, shiny furred, bright-eyed little ones out in the daytime is normal for a short period of time we call their naive stage. They will quickly learn that it isn’t safe to be out in the daytime. They will normally disappear after a while, or if sound disturbs them. Skunks are beneficial rodent and insect eaters, so should be left alone.
A young skunk that is huddled and not well concealed may be orphaned. Mother skunks keep their babies fur shiny clean. If the baby’s fur appears dirty, or its eyes aren’t bright, these are also indications that it is orphaned. Laying a box on its side with canned cat food will lure the orphan into the box. You may want to call your local rehabilitation center to see if they care for skunks. If not, the young one may need a helping hand with food for a short time, then survive on its own without further food assistance. Food should only be offered to get the little one going; never feed adults. Inevitably a neighbor will complain just because they see them.
Juvenile or Adult Skunks
Juvenile or adult skunks that need help would include any that are injured, lethargic, and may need help if they are not well hidden while sleeping in the daytime. Skunks are famous for being well hidden during daylight hours.
Although rabies is rare on the West Coast, there are enough incidents of rabies in skunks that they are considered a rabies vector species. For this reason, if you pick up a baby skunk, or adult, do so with gloves on.
Skunks are gentle animals but will spray if frightened by fast movement or loud sounds. Lying a box on its side with cat food inside and a towel draped over most of the box opening will lure a sick or injured or baby skunk in. It will appear as a safe little den, with food!
Thanks for caring about these wonderful creatures!