Wildlife rehabilitation is the treatment, caring, and training of animals to be later released back into the wild. There are many ways that animals could end up in the hands of wildlife rehabilitators, it is they were found an orphan, they were found injured, they were rescued from cruel owners, or they were rescued from animal traffickers etc. These animals include eagles, dogs, cats, raccoons, skunks and many others. The skunks may be small but wildlife rehabilitators recognize their importance in the environment. They are very good at pest control. They eat insects from bees to worms and although sometimes they bother farmers they are still considered to be very helpful and thus should be helped. The skunk population as of the present is declining because of a lot of factors one of which is deforestation and others include urbanization. In the forest they could from 2-3 years and their greatest enemy is winter. Outside the forest, they live a lot less. When a wildlife rehabilitator finds skunks, these are the things they usually do:
• Verify first if it is really orphaned.
-Approach the skunk carefully
-Skunks release a yellow, almost fluid odor as self-defense and nobody wants to get caught in that.
- Do not approach a sick skunk as skunks have rabies and the tendency to release the yellowish odors randomly when sick.
• Determine the age To provide adequate care for your skunk foundling make sure to know its age first. Wildlife rehabilitation centers have charts for this.
Orphan skunks are most often than not malnourished, cold, and dehydrated as baby skunks do not usually wander around if they are comfortable. They are fed with ebsilac powder and nothing else as dairy products might kill them.
The skunks housing requirements would vary as it grows. If it is still a baby, as long as it is warm then nothing else matters. However as it grows, it would be ideal to train it to live outside to prepare it for its release.
Skunks are not ready to be released until it reached 16 weeks or are strong enough to live on their own. They are isolated from different animals to avoid being domesticated. Also wildlife rehabilitators often cover their hands or face when taking care of the saved animals so that it would not necessarily think humans are providers because it would disrupt their instinctive abilities and might easily fall prey in the future.