Skunks facts

Scientific name: Mephitis Mephitis

Class: Mammalia

Familly Mephitidae

Order: Carnivora

Life span:
Skunks generally live about 3 years in the wild. In captivity, their life expectancy can be up to 15 years.


Skunks mate around the end of February and March. The young are born between 42 and 63 days later. Litters are generally composed of four to six young.

Skunks are found almost everywhere in North America, from northern Mexico to Canada. Their habitat is therefore varied: wooded areas, cultivated areas or urban areas.

Why do skunks stink?

Skunks use a stinky substance as a defense mechanism against their predators. If this mammal feels threatened, it will first try to warn the opponent by raising its tail and trampling on the ground. Then, if the threat is still present, the animal will spray a smelly liquid secreted by its anal glands on its opponent up to 5 times in a row. This liquid can be sprayed up to a distance of 6 m.

When do skunks hibernate?

Skunks don't hibernate. They remain active throughout the winter, although their metabolism is considerably slowed down.

Can baby skunks also spray their enemies?

Baby skunks develop the ability to spray their opponents around the age of 6 to 7 weeks.

Do skunks come out during the day?

No, skunks are more active at dusk.

How do you remove the smell of skunk if you get watered?

Contrary to popular belief, tomato juice only masks the smell. The recipe that works best was discovered by a chemist in 1993 and he preferred to make it public rather than patent it. The recipe is as follows:

  • 30 mL dishwashing liquid
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 L of hydrogen peroxide 3%.
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