Do skunks swim?

Skunks are not thought of as an aquatic animal, and most people do not think of skunks when they think of swimming, they have slightly webbed toes and can swim well. A skunk will usually only swim out of necessity. They use it as a way to escape a dangerous situation, or if it is the only path available, the skunk will swim across a pond, river, or lake. Skunks have been known to fall in to a fountain or pool, most likely while trying to get a drink. If this happens, it can cause problems. If the skunk is startles when it falls, it could automatically spray. This might not make the pool or fountains owner very happy since they will have to deal with the smell in the water and surrounding yard. If a skunk sprays in your pool, it will cause a huge mess. A skunk’s spray is an oily liquid located in the anal glands under the skunk’s tail. This mixture of thiols is released in to the water as if the skunk were urinating. “Spray” in your pool, means you drain, filter, and clean the pool.

You will most likely have to clean it several times and add special chemical additives to be rid of the smell. Do not use your pool until it is all cleared up or you will be covered in the stench as well! If you water feature has steep sides and the skunk cannot get purchase, it could tire and drown. Outfitting your pool, fountain, or other water feature with steps or a ramp can allow a skunk or other animal to easily escape can keep you from having to remove a dead body from the water. The only surefire way to keep a skunk or other creature form accidentally accessing your pool is a fence. Skunks while agile are poor climbers. If you have a lake or pond on your property, it might be a favorite for spot skunks but not because of swimming.

They are hunting for fish, amphibians, bugs, larvae, eggs, and other aquatic treats. Another advantage to a lake or pond is that they normally have a naturally sloped bank, so the skunk has less of a chance of drowning unless it is attacked while in the water. Skunks have an excellent sense of touch, and enjoy tactile surfaces. They want to touch and investigating everything around them. Remember if you think you see a skunk in distress and try to save a skunk from the water, a drowning skunk might perceive your act of kindness as an attack and take action accordingly! If you find a skunk thrashing in the water, your safest course of action is to try to give it with a way to climb out on its own.

Read the How to get rid of skunks page for helpful information and to learn more about Do skunks swim?

Do skunks swim?

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