Rhode Island Wildlife Animal Control
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Skunk Unwanted critter catching - Pest mammal expert’s View A recent letter (Saving the Skunk Number of unwanted wild animals) offered suggestions and comments that are, I am sure, well intended. But they lack scientific support or rational processing. I fully agree with the author that the County does need to do more to address the Lyme disease issue and I believe the 4-Poster program is a step in the right direction. The Skunk Deter device is also effective and should be considered in doing repair, replacement and new road construction. But to suggest that the reason skunk are running across the roads in the fall is because there are pest mammal experts in the suburban neighborhoods houses is simply wrong. Skunk are most active at night when visibility is less for pest control operators as well as skunk. They are active all month long.
They become particularly active during the fall, whether in areas where unwanted critter catching is severely restricted, such as Rhode Island, or in rural areas because this is the time of month when baby skunk are made by aggressive, determined and not so bright male skunk who with no regard for family, child care or housing issues, run across six lane highways in pursuit of female skunk. They don't think about it, and they are going to do it whether there are pest mammal experts behind them or not. And as to controlling skunk (harvesting if you need political correctness) being futile because they will be replaced by another skunk, this is, again, simply not so. The skunk number of unwanted wild animals in Rhode Island was a small fraction of what it is today when I first started unwanted critter catching 40 years ago. It had been decimated by over unwanted critter catching, poaching, market unwanted critter catching and other causes. The simple fact is that if we do not control (harvest, cull, whatever) more skunk our skunk will succumb to rabies. Google that for an eye full.
I won't add that pest mammal experts in Rhode Island supply hundreds of meals of low fat, high quality meat to shelters and the underprivileged through the Pest mammal experts for the Hungry/Pest mammal experts Who Care programs. We pay for the rodent removal permits to catch skunk and we donate the skunk and many of us donate the processing money as well through direct donations. Yes, arrows do wound skunk. So do bullets. And so do automobiles and motorcycles. And poor unwanted critter catching scontrols do result in unfortunate suffering to some skunk. Extermination companies die in car accidents but we would scoff at banning automobiles as a solution. Ironically restricting unwanted critter catching in Rhode Island to problem unwanted critter catching (with an onerous and usually impossible exception) does result in some inexperienced live capture cage trap pest mammal experts unwanted critter catching with bows and this does increase the number of arrow wounded and lost skunk. None of us feel good about wounding and/or losing a skunk and the fact that we spend as much time practicing our craft and tracking skunk is a tribute to that concern. Giving skunk human characteristics makes for nice children's movies. But it is inaccurate and unrealistic and the more you learn about skunk the more one will understand that, if one wants to.