Understanding Skunk Behavior?

Skunks are generally maligned because of their potential defensive spraying behavior and a fear of rabies. Understanding skunk behavior may help us coexist with these often beneficial animals and also alert us when their behavior is abnormal. This is a page about understanding skunk behavior.


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April 18, 2009

Last Sunday morning around 8am, I noticed a skunk running in circles across my backyard, which is approximately 1 acre. The skunk continued this pattern for approximately 30 minutes without stopping. I finally lost sight of him once he traveled behind the pool area. Was this normal behavior or was the skunk sick?

By Don Bitzer from NYC


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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

Spring is mating season for most animals, maybe that was it. I know the rabbits in my front yard do a weird dance attracting each other.

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

Well when I was a kid, back about 100 years ago, lol, my Dad always said when a skunk was out in the daytime that was a sign that they were rabid. Also if they were acting strangely that was another sign.


Now this was back in the late 40s and 50s. I don't know if this belief is still held today or not.

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

Check with your local vet, county extension agent or a forest ranger for info and advice. Go online and search skunk behavior. Good luck!

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

Several years ago we had the same experience, but with a racoon. He turned in circles out in the open, then finally got to a tree and went round and round the tree, always going in the same direction. We made a call to Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries and were told that the coon was more than likely rabid as this was not normal.


On closer inspection (with binoculars) we saw he was watering/foaming at the mouth, and we had to sadly 'take it down' ourselves. We were also advised to bury it as deep as possible, so as not to expose any of our animals to the rabies, should any of our dogs try to dig it up.

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

I had the same thing happen with a squirrel before. It came into my house and was trying to attack us. My kids were instructed to hide behind couch pillows. We called the game warden, he said it was more than likely rabid.

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April 18, 20090 found this helpful

I want to thank all of you who just posted answers about strange acting animals. We all need to warn our family members, especially our little ones about strange acting animals.


You just never know... They easily could have rabies!

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