Rescued: One Lucky Skunk

A picture of the container exactly as Chris Courtemanche found it, covering the skunk’s head.

Animal’s Head Caught in Discarded Cup

 It’s easy to forget how all the trash we humans generate can affect nature, and specifically animals, but a recent incident is a good reminder of how easily things can go badly for critters.

 Local resident Chris Courtemanche recently shared a tale of one such animal that had a bad encounter with some trash.

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   “…I went outside to cook a quick burger on the grill,” Courtemanche recounted. “I heard what I thought was moose hooves on the tar. I heard this for like five minutes and realized it wasn't that at all, but I was like, what the heck is that? After grabbing a flashlight, I went up too the road for an investigation. Approaching slowly was a skunk, who had its head trapped in a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee container, which was dragging all over the tar; it was struggling badly. I am sure it couldn't breathe well, so I said to heck with it. If it sprays me, then at least I'll save its life while smelling badly. The skunk saw the light and walked towards it, keeping its back end down and me sayin, ‘It's okay, baby, we will get you free.’” 

   Courtemanche continued, “It followed me for a minute because I didn't want to spook it and move too fast. Then when it was close, I reached down and quickly snatched it off its face. He went running one direction and me another, in case he changed his mind about spraying. The skunk was so happy to be free and I laughed loudly.”

 Courtemanche has an important message for people.

 “Please, please, please, don't litter, remind everyone that things people don't consider a problem are deadly for the wildlife.”

 While it’s not clear as to whether the discarded cup was litter thrown outside somewhere or if the animal got into someone’s trash container and its head got caught in the cup, it’s a good reminder to never litter and to make sure trash that’s put outside to be picked up is secured and animal proof.

This time, a story of an animal put at risk by manmade trash had a happy ending.  This is not always the case; numerous stories of animals and birds that are injured or die as a result of everyday items turning into deathtraps for wildlife are reported every year. Not only is trash unsightly, it can be deadly.

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