"Bloomin' Passion, helping yours inspire kids into happy adults"

Meet Success Skunks Stoosh & Skittles



With regard to skunk spraying - I am not sure if its the same with wild skunks, but when you have pet skunks they can spray - it is illegal in the UK to descent skunks as it is classed as cosmetic, and cruel because it is an invasive procedure that removes the animals only defence mechanism. Skunks glands hold sufficient spray for around 5 squirts; and then take around 2 weeks to recharge. They give several warnings before actually spraying - they stamp, they hiss, they fan out their erect tail, they run at the threat stopping suddenly and doing a hand stand. Then they will stomp and turn their back end so it is next to their face. The final warning is the same but they poke out their glands. The next step is no warning its a spray !!! If you are still bothering the skunk at that point, then in my opinion you deserve everything you get (if you are a human of course). Their bad eyesight means that any sudden movement, or a sudden shadow will freak them, and they will feel threatened. I should imagine this is the same with wild skunks, but the best way to approach a skunk is slowly and quietly - I imagine many people approach wild skunks loudly, shouting, and maybe waving arms or a broom or something, which would naturally scare them. If you are quiet and approach slowly, they will sniff you out. Their tail may shoot up and fan, meaning they are on their guard. They are very tolerant of humans, and are happy to live along side us - unfortunately because of their reputation, everybody is scared that they will automatically spray when approached regardless. As I said in my Tweets yesterday - be nice to skunks and they will be nice to you! I would love to change the perception of them as vile smelly pests, to the facts : beautiful, intelligent and playful creatures, happy to live alongside us.

Kindest regards

Dale Preece-Kelley

About Skunks Stoosh and Skittles

LIKE Lovable Stoosh on FACEBOOK ( click here)
STOOSH : She is the oldest (and wisest) of the 2 and therefore she was our first. She s pretty laid back. She is our most popular skunk, and the most famous skunk in the UK. If you Google "skunks called stoosh "or something similar, then you will find her stories on line. She is also the only true therapy skunk in the world (hence her inclusion in the Nat Geo Kids book) !!! Stoosh was born on 14th April 2012, and fast became a much loved part of our family - she is cute and mischievious at the same time, making anything naughty that she does instantly forgiveable! As a kit, she was into everything, but as she grew older, she calmed down and enjoyed just being part of the family. She will play, she will walk on a leash, and she will ask for cuddles. Skunks just make THE BEST pets - they are loyal, playful, clean, affectionate - although it was not a decision I entered into lightly. I spent 2 years weighing up the commitment to owning a skunk and met other skunks and their owners before making the decision. At night when we settle down on the sofa, and Stoosh has finished playing, she will climb up onto the sofa and settle down on my lap, much like a cat. She has featured in books, magazines, radio interviews, on tv etc all over the world - and she loves the attention. She still has her scent glands, but has only released once, when she was very young - we had only had her for 48 hours and one of our dogs would not leave her alone, so he got it in the face !!!! She is now laid back to the point of being horizontal. Along with Skittles they have free range of the house, but always use the same place to litter - we have not had an accident with Stoosh since we had her - such is their intelligence. She enjoys her work with us, especially the playing, the worms and the cuddles she gets, and is frequently seen in the laps of people suffering from depression, anxiety, paranoid scizophrenia, and psychosis. Stoosh is awesome !!



LIKE Playfull Skittles on FACEBOOK ( Click here )
SKITTLES : Skittles is 12 months Stoosh's junior and almost as famous, as well as being a little less worldly wise !!! She is the excitable teenager - everything an adventure !! At feeding time she is like a puppy and will run round and round in circles excitedly as you approach with her dish !! Skittles also made the local press and national news, when at around 4 months old, in September 2013 she escaped from the house, and went on the run (http://www.critterishallsorts.co.uk/our-critters/skittles/lich-merc-19-9-13/) She somehow managed to open the french doors into our back garden one evening at about 11pm whilst we were in our front lounge!! By the time we realised (about 10 minutes from last seeing her) she had found her way out of the garden and gone on her adventure !!! It lasted for 3 days - 3 days of not sleeping or eating and frantically searching constantly. Where we lived at the time was surrounded by fields and woodland - perfect skunk country!! We searched and searched and I put an appeal on my FB page, which went viral and was seen by over 60,000 people within a few hours. She went on the Friday, and when we had not got her back by Monday morning, we were assuming we had lost her. This was when the radio stations contacted me to ask if they could feature an appeal on our behalf. She was part of hourly news bulletins on about 5 national radio stations all day on the Monday. I had to work in pet therapy on Monday at a psych hospital client, and was on my way there on Monday morning, when I received the first confirmed sighting of her in a stables about a mile away. I immediately called my wife, who got there as quickly as she could (with friends in tow) to search. They found evidence of her nesting and pooping in a bale of hay in with the horses, but could not find her. My wife and her friends spent the next 6 hours searching the surrounding fields and woodlands, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. My wife had to call off the search to pick our little ones up from school. She went home to get a cup of tea and warm up before going out again. She made her drink and some one called who was organizing a night time search party for us. Whilst my wife was talking on the phone, she turned and looked out of the back window, to see a rather frantic Skittles digging a hole in the back lawn !!! Talk about relief - my wife ran outside threw a coat over little Skittles and scooped her up :) A happy ending !! So she is the adventurer of the two - always into things and wanting to explore - a skunkie trait.

The difference between Stoosh & Skittles though, although they are both captive bred, is that Stoosh was born to a skunk kept indoors in the family home, whereas Skittles was born to skunks who were housed in an outdoor enclosure and this seems to have led to her retaining more of her wild behaviors and nature. Interesting thing to consider !! Is it nature or nurture ???

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