Learn About Skunks!

Meet Thistle!

Thistle is our 3-year-old striped skunk! He is very popular with program attendees! In the video below, Thistle is  foraging. This is a fancy way of saying “looking for food.”

How do Skunks Find Food?

  • Thistle is using his very sensitive nose to find the dried mealworms  that our animal care team feeds him. Skunks in your backyard are using their expert noses to forage for, or find, grubs (see photo below).
  • Skunks use their very long front claws dig up the grubs that they find.

What if I see a Skunk in my Backyard?

  • There’s is no need panic if you see a skunk in your backyard. Do not approach it. You can make loud noises to scare it away.
  • Skunks do not want to spray you! They make a small amount of their spray and prefer to use it only when something scary seems too close to them.
  • If you have a dog, it’s a good a idea to check for skunks before letting your outdoors.

Will Thistle Spray Like the Skunks in my Backyard?

  • Thistle and our other education skunk do not spray like skunks found in the wild. Their scent glands have been removed by a veterinarian.
  • Their care and feeding is seen to by our animal care team.
  • Thistle helps teach children, families and the community about nature.

When am I most Likely to see Skunks?

  • Skunk babies are usually born in the spring. Baby skunks are called a kits.
  • Like your family, skunk families need food too! So in the springtime, skunks are very actively foraging.
  • They are mostly out at night, and around dusk and dawn, but can also been seen sometimes during the day.