A male is known as a BUCK, a female is known as a DOE and a baby is known as a KIT. A group is known as a SURFEIT. Skunks have moderately elongated bodies (similar to a ferret) with short, well- muscled legs and long claws which are used for digging. Although the most common colour of a skunk is black and white, they can also be brown, grey or even cream.
Skunks are ‘crepuscular’ (awake at dawn and dusk) and are quite solitary animals but may gather in communal dens in colder weather. Skunks mate in Spring and are polygynous, meaning the male mates with more than one female. Skunk babies are born blind and deaf with only a soft layer of fur. The mother is very protective of her kits, spraying at any sight of danger. The male plays no part in raising the babies.
Skunks are notorious for their anal scent glands, which they use as a defense weapon. The odour is a highly offensive smell, in the wild they will use it to fend off predators such as bears. They can spray their odour up to 10 feet. Although the smell is effective they are reluctant to use it as it can take up to 10 days to produce another supply.
ORIGIN: Found in North America, Mexico and Canada.
LONGEVITY: Can live up to 10 years in captivity.
WEIGHT: They weigh approx. 0.5kg.
SIZE: Can grow a length from 40cm to 90cm.
DIET: Skunks are omnivorous eating plants, insects, rodents, birds, grasses, fruit and nuts.
GESTATION: Breeding occurs in Spring, a female is pregnant for 66 days giving birth to 4 to 7 kits.
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