Local police get creative to rescue skunk from skate park

Officers from California’s Sebastopol Police were called in to help in a rescue mission.

The creature in distress?

A skunk at a local skate park.

It was alleged that at some point overnight, it had slipped down the slopes of the park’s bowl feature and was left unable to escape.

Image via Sebastopol Police Services

So how does one catch a skunk exactly?

Attempting to catch the skunk would result in him using his spray — which would “stink” for all parties involved.

So authorities decided to think outside the box.

“This morning officers from the Sebastopol Police Department were assisted by Sonoma County Parks personnel in performing a daring rescue at the Sebastopol Community Skate Park,” the department posted to Facebook.

Image via Sebastopol Police Services

“A skunk’s overnight stroll in the park took a turn for the worse when it fell into one of the bowls and found itself stuck about 6 1/2 feet below the sidewalk. A public works employee discovered the animal uninjured in the bowl during a morning check of the park and called police.”

“A rescue strategy was formulated and officers enlisted the help of a couple Regional Parks employees who happened to be in the area with pallets in the back of their truck.”

Image via Sebastopol Police Services

“A crude ramp was constructed with the pallets and, despite the inherent risk of being in close proximity to a stressed skunk, Regional Parks employees valiantly lowered themselves into the bowl with the skunk.”

“They used a long board to encourage it up the ramp and out of the bowl. The skunk eventually climbed the ramp and left the park on its own accord. Thanks to the good work of those involved, this situation resolved without anyone (including the skunk) being hurt or sprayed. We want to thank Sonoma County Regional Parks for assisting us today!”

Image via Sebastopol Police Services

Skunks only use their smelly defense when either themselves or their young are threatened and cannot escape.

They give a quick warning prior to spraying — which consists of stamping the front feet, a raised tail, hissing and short forward charges…followed by twisting their lower half to face your direction.

While spotted skunks will contort into a handstand with their behind in the air, eyes still focused on the perceived threat.

If you encounter a skunk in this type of situation, it is recommended you move away both slowly and quietly.

Image via Public Domain photos

But remember that an occasional skunk sighting in a neighborhood should not worry you too much.

Usually, skunks are easy-going and will not go out of their way to bother people.

Skunks actually benefit humans by eating many pests like insects and rodents.

Image via flickr

And while many fear the odor of skunks or the scenario of being sprayed by said skunk — skunks only need shelter when they are most vulnerable, which is during the coldest parts of the winter and while raising young.

Due to the nocturnal habits of skunks, including their non-aggressive nature and their beneficial role they play, the best thing to do is to leave them alone until they move on their own volition — which they quickly do.

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