Florida Wildlife Commission Researchers Were Trying To Catch Snakes for a Study – They Captured Skunks Instead

Toby Hazlewood

Well that stinks!

Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were hoping to capture snakes for a recent study but got a surprise when they checked their traps. They'd captured skunks instead!

They shared the mishap on their Facebook page, in a post from January 27 that has since gone viral.

Skunks in Facebook post from FWCFacebook Page of FWC

Fortunately it seems that the animals can be of some use to the scientists who are also currently studying the distribution of Florida's skunks too!

Skunks endangered in Florida?

Skunks don't necessarily have the best or most lovable of reputations - due to their tendency to defend themselves by spraying a pungent-smelling oil at predators as a last-resort. However, the animals are very timid by nature, and prefer to stay out of the way of predators, often only coming out from cover at night, to forage for food.

Two species of skunk occur in Florida, the striped skunk and the eastern spotted skunk. In Florida, the eastern spotted skunk is considered a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), hence why the FWC are interested in studying where the animals have been spotted in the state.

What to do if you get sprayed?

Unless you're very unlucky or deliberately corner a skunk, they're so timid that they'll likely have disappeared before you see them. Many Floridians haven't ever encountered one of the animals.

There's slightly more of a chance that your dog could get sprayed however, and owners may wonder how to get rid of the smell? The American Kennel Club suggest acting quickly to treat your dog with a blend of baking soda and mild-washing detergent - as quickly as possible so that the oil doesn't have a chance to absorb into their fur!

Hopefully the researchers from the FWC managed to release the critters without getting sprayed!

Have you ever encountered skunks in the wilds of Florida? Let me know in the comments section below.

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