Does tomato juice really work to get rid of that skunk smell off of your overly friendly canine companion?
Perhaps, but it will likely turn your animal an interesting shade of orange.
Instead, Lorain County`s self-proclaimed “skunk lady” suggests using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, Joy dish soap and water to get Fido smelling like a dog again, or simply try Skunk Off shampoo.
Deb Cipriani of Skunk Haven, a nonprofit source for skunk rescue, shelter and education, knows the secrets of the skunk after having cared for them in her home for nearly a decade, and she is willing to share.
Cipriani, who is helping bring skunk medical research to the forefront, recently shared her knowledge with PBS for a documentary titled “Is That a Skunk?”
That documentary prompted French Creek Nature Center naturalist Jannah Tucker to hold Skunk Appreciation Day Saturday.
The documentary revealed many interesting facts about these often misunderstood animals. Until recently, skunks were classified as being part of the weasel family, but recent research has shown that the animals are so unique that they are in a class all by themselves.
While most people know that skunks produce a pungent smell as a defense mechanism, most don`t realize that they provide a useful service as well,Â eating many beetles, crickets and other insects.
“Skunks spray,” Tucker said. “Everyone knows that. It`s one way they defend themselves. But they do a lot in advance to warn they are going to spray. They curl their body in a â€˜U` shape, wag their tail and stomp their feet.”
But they don`t do these things unless they feel threatened.
If you happen to encounter a skunk in your backyard, the best thing to do is not bring too much attention to yourself and simply walk – not run – away, Tucker warns.
If the nocturnal creatures are having their mail forwarded to under your front porch, Cipriani had another useful tip. Skunks don`t like loud music with lots of bass. To get rid of the animals, she recommends turning the music up loud and aiming the speakers at the porch, which should prompt the critters to pack up and move.
Although many people don`t want skunks as neighbors, the critters are rather docile. In fact, the skunk population is decreasing across the country, in part due to habitat laws and more fatalities with cars, Tucker says.
Cipriani said she is pleased that the Metro Parks is putting on a program in honor of skunks.
“Anything to get people to think about skunks in a positive light instead of a negative one is always a good thing,” she said. “They have such a bad rap, but they are very peaceful animals.”
And they have a valuable lesson to teach in regard to nature, she said.
“They teach us to give respect to get respect.”
Skunk Appreciated Day begins at 1 p.m. with a 40-minute skunk-habitat hike, which will include discussion about skunk behavior, food sources and habitat. After that, from 1:40 to 2:10 p.m., Cipriani will give a live skunk demonstration. FromÂ 2:10 to 2:45 p.m. visitors will be able to make a skunk craft to take home with them, and from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. a National Geographic movie on skunks will be shown.
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or email@example.com.