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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Animal rescue X: Southern Spotted Skunk

Wounded, sick and lost animals seem to appear all the time, from just about anywhere. Our wonderful rangers at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve today brought a baby Southern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale angustifrons) to our door. Our fear of its repulsive and persistent odor was gradually defeated, as he did not smell nor did he threaten us. We took the baby skunk from its cardboard box, and gave him a once-over. Or to be more accurate, the little skunk gave Gaia Program Director Jeffrey McCrary a once-over, more than once!
animals in Nicaragua
Southern Spotted Skunk. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
Wildlife such as this is abundant in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, but we don't get opportunities to see skunks up close. Jeffrey and the little skunk made peace, and actually got along quite famously.
wildlife in Nicaragua
The baby skunk sleeps in Jeffrey's hands. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
The baby skunk was found with a parent in a rock wall inside the urban center of Masaya, and was captured and taken away by the rangers, who did not remove the adult. Prudent choice probably, as skunks invariably spray when upset. Even though Masay is among the largest cities in Nicaragua, it is surrounded by forests, and wildlife can easily find its way into the urban areas. He had been injured, evidently by someone trying to harm him by striking him.
wildlife in Nicaragua
The left eye of the baby Southern Spotted Skunk has been struck and is swollen. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
The Southern Spotted Skunk is quite common in our area. This skunk will be released near Estacion Biologica when we think he has a good chance to survive in the wild. Meantime, we will need to provide him with a lot of attention to assure access to water and food, a clean space, exercise, and hopefully, soon he will be in the wild again.
wildlife in Nicaragua
Our interns gathered fruits from the forest at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve while the skunk posed for a photo session. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.

nature in Nicaragua
The skunk hasn't sprayed yet! Photo by Pablo Somarriba.

nature in Nicaragua
Southern Spotted Skunks are common in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.

nature photography
The baby skunk seems to be healthy, in spite of a bruised eye. Photo by Pablo Somarriba. 

wildlife in Nicaragua
The skunk tries a different kinds of foods. He went for water and jocotes. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
In the video below, the little skunk is making some curious noises! He sounds like a squeaky ball bearing. 

wildlife in Nicaragua
This baby still fits in a single hand! Photo by Pablo Somarriba. 
Would you like to help us with this little animal? A bag of dog food would do wonders toward making him happy. Please consider donating time or food for this animal and other wildlife that need a second chance. The misfortune of this baby skunk is nothing more than having entered a human-inhabited area. We want to find a way to re-insert him into nature as expediently as possible.

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