Alberta Campgrounds | Should Campers Fear Skunks?


Alberta Campgrounds | Should Campers Fear Skunks?

The pull of the beauty of Alberta can bring out many campers to Alberta campgrounds. And since skunks are native to the province. No matter where they go, campers are likely to eventually encounter a skunk.

The first thing that people need to keep in mind, is that skunks are very timid, and do not have a lot of defence mechanisms. And will want to run away instead of attacking when they are threatened.

Skunks are even beneficial to have around. Because while they eat insects for their diet. They also are known to eat a lot of invasive pests. That can cause a lot of damage, and can make camping less pleasant.

If there are skunks in the area, the test population will be quite low. And farmers are quite happy to have skunks in the area, to get rid of pests that can threaten their crop.

Also, campers should be happy to know that skunks are nocturnal animals. And while they come out at dusk to wake up and start foraging for their food. They are not likely to encounter these animals.

They might see a skunk running around, while they are in their campsite in Alberta campgrounds. Or when they are walking to use the bathroom. And if this is the case, the best thing for camper to do is simply stop.

By stopping, it allows the skunk the opportunity to run away safely. Which is what they often will do. If they do not immediately run away. It is because their eyesight is very bad. And shining up flashlight can cause them to want to run away.


However if this does not work. Or if people do not have a flashlight with them. What they can start doing is start moving very slowly backwards.

They need to be very quiet, and ensure that they do not turn their back on the animal. So that they know where the animals going. Or if it starts to make posturing signs, indicating it is feeling threatened.

The posturing that the skunk can do that can indicate it feels threatened includes hissing at the predator, stamping their feet, as well as acting like they are going to charge.

People should be reassured that the stock will not charge. But this will come just before they turn their hind quarters around. Which will have been just before they spray. Because the spray glands will be underneath the tail.

If this happens, people should continue moving backwards, but skunks have a very long range on their spray. From 3 m away, with accuracy.

When people are bracing to be sprayed, they should close their eyes or cover their eyes with their arm. So that they can minimize the effect of the spray on their skin, and in their eyes.

If skunks are with their offspring, they are likely to be more defensive. So that they can protect their babies. And if people are walking through Alberta campgrounds and smell skunk. They should leave the area. As skunks are known to spray their nest where their babies are. To protect them.

Alberta Campgrounds | Should Campers Fear Skunks?

Skunks have quite a reputation, which is why many people fear encountering them when spending time in Alberta campgrounds.

However, this is not a fair reputation. Because skunks are beneficial to have. Because they eat insects, and well-known pests. Keeping the area free of problem insects.

Also, it is not a fair reputation to have. Because skunks are very timid, opting to run away more often than not. Because they do not have a lot of defence mechanisms.

Their main defence mechanism is their spray. But they do not want to deploy this method. Because not only does it weaken them, but leaves them defenceless for ten days. While their body builds up that chemical again.

Since this is their last resort, they will give lots of indications that they are going to spray. That hopefully will cause their enemies and predators to flee. So that they do not have to spray them.

However, for many reasons including fast movements from a pet. Or having their babies present. Might make them feel even more threatened, and they might end up spraying. They can spray incredibly long distances, 10 feet away. And with startling accuracy.

They also can spray six times in a row before they are out of fluid. So they can defend quite a lot and spray many things, before running away.

If a person or pet has been sprayed. There are several things that they should do. Because the chemical is as severe skin irritate her, and can cause temporary blindness. Immediately rinsing the eyes with cool water is important.


It also causes nausea and vomiting in people who smell the smell up close. Which is why people who are sprayed, should stay outside.

While tomato juice is often held in high regard as neutralizing the smell of skunk spray. This is because tomatoes contain acid. And anything acidic can be beneficial. Therefore, if people do not have tomato juice on hand, there are other things that can help.

A solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for example can be extremely beneficial. In breaking down the oil skunk spray, and neutralizing the smell.

If hydrogen peroxide is not on hand. Campers and hikers going to Alberta campgrounds can use white vinegar and water. To break down the oil and smell as well.

When using hydrogen peroxide, people need to be very careful that they do not get the solution in their eyes, or their pets eyes. And not to leave it on skin or fur for very long. Because it can have a bleaching effect on skin and fur.

For clothing, laundry detergent and a washing machine is all that is needed to eliminate the smell. Even though it might take two or three washes.

By knowing what to do if campers and hikers accidentally get sprayed by a skunk while visiting Alberta campgrounds. Can help them be prepared for getting sprayed. But also knowing what to do to avoid getting sprayed. Can help immensely.