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Skunk found in West Yorkshire (UK)

Pub landlord Dave Bennett was walking his two dogs in Keighley town centre when they shot off to chase a black-and-white animal
Striped skunk, found in West Yorkshire
Striped skunk, found in West Yorkshire

Pub landlord Dave Bennett was walking his two dogs in Keighley town centre when they shot off to chase a black-and-white animal.

But Jack Russell Chewy and King George Spaniel Tilly got more than they bargained, when they cornered what at first looked like a cat.

Mr Bennett, 59, said: “As soon as I got close I could see it was a skunk. Chewy had it cornered before I got to him and he got sprayed. It smelt awful!

The skunk is thousands of miles from its normal habitat. But RSPCA inspector Dave Holgate who managed to capture the animal without getting sprayed said: “The skunk is in reasonable body condition which makes me think it’s either recently escaped or it’s been dumped.

There are 11 species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (hooded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale (spotted skunks, two species), Mydaus (stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, five species). The two skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America.

Skunks were formerly classified as a subfamily within the family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, otters, badgers, and relatives. However, recent genetic evidence suggests that the skunks are not as closely related to the mustelids as previously thought, and are now classified in their own family.

Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus, plus Wikipedia.


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CW Staff

In the late 80s I started investigating UFOs and crop circles and joined the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies) and a local group researching strange sightings and reports along the south coast of Dorset (UK). In the early ’90s I started my own research group called SPS (Strange Phenomena Studies), this was renamed in 2004 to Cryptoworld.

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  1. It never occurred to me that I hadn’t heard of skunks in UK but now that you mention it… I guess I am so used to American culture that i thought we got them here!

    • Hi @Emm, thanks for your comment.

      There are lots of strange animals living here in the UK. Most are either escaped pets or have been let loose by their owners – usually because they have got to big or aggressive to handle.

  2. This reminds me…when my daughter was about 4, she found a baby skunk in the playground. Someone told her that babies didn’t ‘squirt’, so she picked it up!!!! Oh, they squirt at ANY age, and she got doused. I made her disrobe outside, put her in the tub and thoroughly doused her with tomato juice, several times. It does work, along with about 3 shampoos. I dumped her clothing, luckily it was all ‘play’ wear. I didn’t know there weren’t skunks in the UK either, even though I was born and raised there. Guess I never thought about it.

  3. There’s a small breeding population in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester. They can be elusive but when they encounter humans they have little fear and are actually quite inquisitive.

    • Thanks Charles, very interesting.

      Used to visit the Forest of Dean on school trips. Will have to try and visit again soon.

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