mt.gov Montana Official State Travel Site
Facebook Flickr Twitter Youtube 1.800.847.4868

Skunk

Ah, the sight of beautiful wildflowers. The sound of birds chirping in the trees. The scent of...skunk? If you don't know what a skunk looks like, it will only take one experience in the wild to learn. Thankfully, skunks are mainly nocturnal, feeding on mice and insects.

Skunk
Spilogale gracilis: Western Spotted Skunk

Most animals in the wild know to stay away from skunks, but one animal that always seems to be curious is the family pet. Skunks are only too happy to oblige dogs with a well-placed spray, but more dangerously, skunks can carry rabies. You don't want to take a chance on your dog getting rabies, so can you guess what the best advice is? That's right: don't bring your pet.

When threatened, skunks will stand on their forefeet and arch their back and tail until the scent glands (at the base of the tail) are aimed at the threat; one quick blast, and most predators will instantly give up. The blast from a skunk can travel up to ten feet, and the spray is so strong it can even temporarily blind predators. Baby skunks' scent glands are fully developed shortly after birth; they may be cute, but watch from a safe distance.

Skunk Map