Jen Rudolph and Diane Nahabedian from Roger Williams Park Zoo visit the show with a special friend: Stanley the Skunk! Skunks are quite misunderstood because many can’t look past their smell. But, Jen shares what makes them so special and interesting.
The zoo is open every day from 10-4 and offer half price tickets in February. FrogWatch trainings are also coming up on February 23 and March 8.
Fun Facts About Skunks:
This species is 8 to 19 inches long; and the tail is another 5 to 15 inches.
• When one thinks of skunks, it is always about the smell.
• The skunk’s spray is an oily liquid produced by glands under its large tail.
• The spray does not cause any harm – it is a great defensive technique.
• Skunks live in North America from central Canada to Mexico.
• Very adaptable – live in a variety of habitats including mixed woods and brush.
• Do not hibernate but go into a dormant or semi-active state known as a torpor.
• Predatory animals like badger, fox, and wolves do not like the skunk smell.
• Great horned owl is the skunk’s serious predator.
• Each female gives birth to between two and ten young each year.
• Skunks are nocturnal foragers who eat fruit and plants, insects, larvae, worms, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, and even fish in the wild.
• At the Zoo Stanley eats dog food, green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, hardboiled eggs
• Might see a skunk in an area near your home or in a hiking area.
• The skunk’s foraging habits are beneficial in our yards and gardens.
• They feed on pests, such as grubs, snails, and slugs, in addition to beetles, wasps, ants, millipedes, centipedes, small snakes, mice, rats, and other populations we prefer to keep under control.
• Skunks are quiet, peaceful animals.
• If you come upon a striped skunk face-to-face, back away and they will placidly walk away.
• First half of 20th century, the striped skunk pelts were a valuable commodity in the fur trade.
• By the 1950s and 1960s, the pelt trade dropped dramatically because the fashions shifted away from longhaired furs.
• Stanley is one of our animal ambassadors. He makes frequent visits to schools.