Alberta Campgrounds | Understanding Skunks


Alberta Campgrounds | Understanding Skunks

Skunks are very misunderstood and often feared animal even though they live in many Alberta campgrounds across the province. In fact, because it skunks are native to Alberta. Any people might be sharing their space with skunks on a regular basis and not even know it.

By understanding the truth about skunks, and unlearning some prejudices that they might hold against this animal. Can help ensure that hikers, campers and skunks. Can peacefully coexist together.

Ultimately, one of the first things that people need to understand. Is that skunks do not want to spray anyone. It is their last line of defence. And will only spray if they believe their life is in danger.

The reason why, is because once they spray a potential predator. They are unable to spray anything else for up to ten days. While their body is regenerating the chemical.

Therefore, once a skunk deploys this defence mechanism. They are defenceless for a long time, which can end up with their life being threatened. Or them being powerless to defend their offspring.

This is why it is very important that people know exactly what to do when encountering a skunk. So that they do not accidentally cause the skunk to spray. And make them at risk for the next week.

The first thing that people should do, when they are hiking or camping in Alberta campgrounds. Is if they do encounter this animal. They should stop moving and be as quiet as possible.

This will hopefully encourage the skunk to run away. However, because a skunks eyesight is extremely bad. They may not see a person has stopped moving, and they might continue foraging for food. Simply just not run away.


This is why it is important that people carry a flashlight with them. So that they can flash it once at the skunk. In order to encourage it to run away quickly.

Many people in Alberta campgrounds find it very effective to sing quietly, or talk quietly to their hiking buddy. As the sun sets, and skunks are more likely to come out, waking up to start their day and foraging for food.

This very gentle noise, can alert a skunk to a person’s presence. Without startling them. In fact, many hikers in order to gently alert their presence to all of the wild animals they might encounter.

Put bells on their knapsack, hiking stick or shoes. In order to help alert their presence, to any animals who might be frightened, or defensive.

If a skunk is out with their offspring. They will be even more defensive. Making it even more important that people act quickly to stop and be quiet.

However, before a skunk sprays, because it is their last line of defence. They will do a number of threatening postures. To give one last ditch effort into frightening people away.

They will hiss, stomp their feet and even act like they are going to charge. However, they will not charge. They are just trying to frighten people into leaving.

And as long is when they do this, people start backing away slowly. Can help them escape this encounter unscathed, and smelling just fine.

Alberta Campgrounds | Understanding Skunks

Skunks are very misunderstood, and when people encounter them by accident in Alberta campgrounds. This misunderstanding. Can end up with them frightening the skunk, which causes them to spray their potential predator.

Because of this fear that people have. They end up screaming when they encounter this very small, and mostly defensive animal. Which results in the skunk being startled enough it will spray its victims.

This noxious spray that a skunk will release. Is so noxious, that can cause skin irritation. As well as temporary blindness in the animals that it sprays.

As well as making people who smell this chemical up close develop watery eyes, a runny nose, be noxious and even start to vomit.

This is why most animals, even ones that would typically be predators of animals the small. Will see the distinctive marks of a white stripe on a black body. And stay away from the animal.

Because of that, a skunk actually has very few natural predators. Making the great horned owl one of the most significant predators.

Presumably, because the skunk will not be able to see the owl coming. And could not spray vertically up into the air even if it did see the owl coming. Means that owls can pray on a skunk, quite efficiently. Without fear of getting sprayed.

However, if people do get sprayed by a skunk. They also can develop these same symptoms. And if their pet has tangled with the skunk, and has been sprayed. That can make that dogs owners be noxious and start to vomit.


It is because of these symptoms. That people, and pets who have been sprayed by this animal. Should stay outdoors until the smell has dissipated.

However, that smell will not dissipate until the oil breaks down. Which is why it is very important that anyone who has been sprayed by a skunk knows what to do to break down that oil very quickly.

Ultimately, and when going to Alberta campgrounds should know that any acidic liquid is going to be effective at breaking down the oily secretion that a skunk sprays.

This is why tomato juice was often suggested as a natural cure. Because the acid in the tomatoes neutralizes the oil. Causing people to be able to wash away the oil, and dissipate the smell.

However, any acid should do the trick. And people do not necessarily need to subject themselves to bathing in tomato juice unless they truly want to be. A hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixture can be even more effective than tomato juice.

And even white vinegar and water is acidic enough to help neutralize the oil. Therefore, when people are going to Alberta campgrounds.

They should ensure that they carry something acidic with them. So that if they do end up getting sprayed by a skunk. Or even if their pet gets sprayed.

They will be able to very quickly neutralize the smell. So that they, and anyone who comes close to them will not suffer with the smell.