Alberta Campgrounds | Why Do Skunks Spray?


Alberta Campgrounds | Why Do Skunks Spray?

Because the skunks are native to Alberta, when people go camping or hiking in Alberta campgrounds. They should know what to do if they encounter a skunk.

Skunks are actually very beneficial to the ecosystem. And they are very shy, and they do not like confrontation. They have developed a reputation for their spray, however this is not because they spray often or for no reason.

Skunks eat insects. And can be very efficient at ridding the environment of tests that can cause a lot of damage. Farmers actually love having skunks around. Because not only will they eat pests that can threaten their crops.

But because since natural predators like coyotes, foxes will not attack skunks because of this reputation. It also means that areas that have skunks will tend not have these predators.

Therefore, if people encounter skunks in Alberta campgrounds. They should know that there is less likely to be other predators that can be even more frightening to encounter.

The best thing that people should do when they encounter a skunk. Is to simply stop moving. This can give the skunk a wide enough birth to feel comfortable enough to flee. Which they typically will.

If they do not, if campers or hikers have the flashlight with them. I shining it once at the skunk, can frighten it enough to scare it away.

However, if skunks are with their babies. They might get more defensive, because not only is it harder for them to run away. But because they also want to protect their babies.


In fact, when babies are born, skunks will spray the nest with this noxious fluid. To discourage predators from finding the babies. And so if campers smell skunk in the area. They are best to leave, because that might mean that they are coming up on a skunk dead, or a nest of babies.

If the skunk does not run away, people should start moving backwards slowly. Avoid putting their back to the animal, so that they know what it is doing at all times.

They will have lots of time and lots of warning if a is going to spray. Because they will have a number of defensive postures that they will go through to frighten their predator way before they spray.

One of the first things they will do is start hissing and stamping their feet. If this does not work at frightening their predator way, then they will start acting like they are going to charge.

People should not be afraid the skunk will charge, because they have no intention on doing so. Because they will not have any way to attack. But this is just what they do to scare off potential threats.

If this does not work, they will turn their hind end around, and lift their tail. Which is the last thing that they are going to do before they spray. Because the spray comes out of a gland underneath their tail.

If this happens, people can cover their eyes and continue to move backwards, to hopefully avoid the impact of the spray.

Because skunks are native to the province. When people go to Alberta campgrounds. They should know exactly what they need to do when encountering this animal. So that they can let the animal run away, and so that they can end up not getting sprayed.

Alberta Campgrounds | Why Do Skunks Spray?

Any of the Alberta campgrounds will have skunks in them. Because skunks are native to the province. And while they have quite a reputation because of their spray. They are actually very shy creatures. Who would rather run away then attack a predator.

However, this reputation has served them quite well. Because natural predators that typically eat smaller mammals. Such as coyotes or foxes. Will leave skunks alone, rather than risk getting sprayed.

In fact, one of the skunks only natural predators is the great horned owl. Presumably because they are the ones that are least likely to get sprayed.

Skunks actually do not want to spray, and it is only a last resort. Because when skunks spray, not only does it deplete their energy. But it leaves them defenceless until they can rebuild their reserves. Which will take a week.

However, whether skunks have been startled, have encountered a dog who did not know when to stop. Or if they have their babies. People and pets might still get sprayed. It is very important that when people are visiting Alberta campgrounds. They know what to do to minimize the effects of that spray.

The spray will be quite stinky, and can be smelled by the human nose from five point 6 km away. It will smell like sulphuric acid. And it will cause skin rotation, and if sprayed in the eyes will cause temporary blindness.

This is why rinsing the eyes with cool water as quickly as possible and as often as needed should be the first thing that people should do.


The smell can also cause people to develop watery eyes, runny noses, nausea and vomiting. Even if they are not the ones that are getting sprayed. This is why people who have been sprayed. Should state outside. Because they can affect people inside once they go into unenclosed place.

Many people have heard that tomato juice is an effective remedy to skunk smell. And this is typically because the acid in tomatoes has been known to break down oil in the skunk spray.

However, if people do not have tomato juice on hand. They should understand that any acid can help break down the oil. And an effective solution is using 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda.

If this solution is used, people need to rinse it quickly off of their skin or off of their pets for. Because it can have a bleaching effect. They also need to ensure to keep it well away from their or their pets eyes as well.

If people do not have hydrogen peroxide on hand, even white vinegar and water. Can act as an acid to break down the oil in the skunk spray.

People might need to wash with this two or three times in order to get rid of the smell. But knowing how to eliminate skunk spray.

Can help people pack the things that will help them be prepared when visiting Alberta campgrounds. In case of the worst-case scenario, that they do not get out of a skunk encounter unscathed.