It appears our resident Striped Skunk, a nocturnal omnivore, enjoys foraging near our settlement. Persistent drought conditions limit food sources on the open prairie. As it wanders through alleyways in search of water and food, its distinct perfume invades human abodes. Before our stealth visitor heads back to its burrow, it stops at a puddle of irrigation runoff and signs in. This relative of weasels leaves a unique signature in the mud. It consists of five-toed front paw imprints with sharp claws, which suggest powerful excavation skills. As silently as it emerged, it eases back into the familiar cover of the pre-dawn prairie and shelter from the brutal heat daylight ushers in.
About a week ago, Cooper and his canine pal Scout encountered this skunk mid-morning near its burrow. Predictably, it tries to run away. The dogs give chase Unable to move its short legs fast enough to escape, the skunk arches its back, raises its tail and turns its rear toward the threat. The dogs persist, the skunk takes aim and employs its ultimate defensive weapon.
© Ilija Lukić 2011
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