September 9th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 35
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Most captured skunks euthanized
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source: ARK Trapping
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Even if they are not big as bears, stealthy as cougars, or quick like deer most people know that a skunk can hold its own against most creatures but when it comes to the Pass’ agricultural fieldman, Bill Hnatiuk, they appear to have met their match.

Data obtained by the Pass Herald indicates Hnatiuk and his team trapped 24 skunks over the last two years and in his explanation of the finer points of skunk management, Hnatiuk said the majority of the trapped animals were euthanized because of apparent health problems.

“We’ll release them 15 kilometres from the nearest residence but there is only a certain number that can be relocated,” he said. “The rest have to be destroyed, unfortunately.”

When pressed on how one would destroy a skunk, Hnatiuk said it was done “humanely.”

Hnatiuk did not elaborate on why skunks are a problem; their overwhelming stench is the obvious answer but he did explain why they are attracted to the Pass.

“I believe most people are feeding them, drawing them into the community,” said Hnatiuk. “But they are wild animals and they propagate because there is virtually no predation.”

Conrad Mueller, owner of Calgary based Absolute Pest Control, said his company will usually relocate skunks to avoid the nasty business of euthanasia but when there was no other choice and before the process was banned, he used to gas the skunks with a highly toxic substance.

“It’s not available anymore but we used to use methyl bromide, it’s pretty deadly and it’s complicated to do that so we just relocate them because it’s easier,” he said.

“I think the best option is drowning them,” he said. “I don’t know. Do you have any better ideas?”
continued below ...
Brie Richardson, spokesperson for Calgary based Cal-Rid Exterminators, said her company rarely euthanizes skunks but instead releases them on local farms or, if they’re in poor shape, to local keepers who take them in and bring them back to health.

“[The keepers] always take babies because they actually can’t spray for the first three months of their lives,” she said.

As a child, her father made her a de facto keeper by bringing home captured wildlife and tasking her with their care, which she did without any apparent problem.

“This is actually my dad’s company, so when I was a kid he’d bring them home and I would give them water and stuff, because I was a weird kid,” she said. “He used to bring home birds, skunks and squirrels and I’d feed them. It was lovely. It was kind of a cool way to grow up.”

In other pest related news, the data also revealed that Agricultural Services has captured 57 Columbian ground squirrels and six northern pocket gophers this year.
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September 9th ~ Vol. 85 No. 35
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