Many different wildlife species have managed to live alongside humans in the City of Windsor (and other urban areas!). But perhaps none have caused more controversy and conflict than urban skunks. Many people understand the need for effective, lasting, and humane solutions to occasional conflicts with wildlife but others resort to cruel and ineffective “solutions”. On many occasions our cruelty investigators have been called about skunks left in traps for days to die, skunks being drowned in their traps, or baby skunks that have been left to die when their mothers were removed.
For years the Humane Society has urged the City to implement an education and deterrent program, rather than heeding the calls for their removal. Fortunately, the City has moved away from trapping and towards more effective methods of wildlife control that address the availability of food and shelter. Hard-sided garbage containers, education about the need to pick up your outdoor cat’s food when they are done eating, and dealing with crumbling properties that provide habitat are all going to, over time, reduce the area’s skunk population. In addition, all wildlife populations go through cycles, and the numbers will fluctuate with time.
Skunks in southwestern Ontario have been developing distemper in greater number. Raccoons are also susceptible to the illness. While the symptoms of distemper resemble rabies, it is a different illness. While humans can’t catch distemper, it causes a lot of distress to the animal suffering from the disease. If you see a skunk or raccoon with nasal or eye discharge, rocking back and forth, or walking in circles please contact us or Wings Wildlife Rehab Centre for advice.