Our AHS/Popcorn Park ACO Maria Cymanski received the call recently to go out to a property where a skunk was in a trap for an extended period of time. Maria got the call at 3pm and unfortunately, the skunk was trapped somewhere around 6:30 am that morning. Throughout the day, the skunk was extremely stressed, digging at the bottom of the trap, trying to find a way out.
When Maria arrived on the scene, the first thing she did was check to see if the skunk was nursing. Sure enough, she was! Maria checked a little more and discovered that the skunk was not digging to get out of the trap, she was digging in an attempt to keep her babies from falling through the bottom of the trap. Mom Skunk had four little ones with her!
Animal Control Officers Know Best
Maria spoke with the resident who set the trap and he let Maria know that he planned on releasing the skunk in the woods. He did not intend any harm to come to the skunk, but people that “relocate” wildlife have no idea that they are, in many cases, destroying families. If this skunk did not have her babies with her, she would have gone off to the woods, leaving the babies behind to die. Furthermore, Fish and Wildlife require that a person get permission from the property owner before releasing any wildlife. Animal Control Officers are aware of these laws, the typical citizen is not.
Maria easily transferred Mom Skunk and family into a larger carrier and later transported the whole family to a licensed rehabber where they will all be cared for and kept safe, until they are ready to be released.
(Check out the video of mom and babies!)
PLEASE contact the experts before you go about setting a trap on your property for a wild animal. It is illegal to set a trap and not monitor it, and there are also many laws regarding the handling of wildlife in NJ that a certified ACO will follow. Call AHS/Popcorn Park at 609-693-1900 or your local Animal Control with questions before you take matters into your own hands.