NORTH RIDGEVILLE —Skunks — and the people who love them — were in good supply Saturday at Skunkfest 2012 held at South Central Park.
The 11th annual event, which raises funds for rescue shelter Skunk Haven, drew about 40 skunks and several hundred people.
A film crew from London’s Channel 5 even showed up to film a segment on pampered pets, according to Skunkfest founder and Skunk Haven operator Deborah Cipriani.
“They think it will be an awesome show to bring back to their country,” she said.
Cipriani created Skunkfest to help educate the public about skunks and to give skunk owners a chance to get together.
People came from all over the United States to learn about the critters, which come in a rainbow of shades as well as the typical black and white.
“We had a couple fly in from California whose child wants to be a skunk trainer,” Cipriani said. “It was pretty awesome.”
In the wild, skunks can spray a pungent odor used as a defense weapon, with the ability to hit objects up to 25 feet away.
Domesticated skunks are descented by breeders at the age of 3 to 5 weeks.
They live up to 10 years — a few more years than ferrets — and as omnivores they eat a varied diet as scavengers, according to Avon Lake veterinarian Dr. Krank Krupta.
You can’t declaw skunks like you can declaw cats, and they are quite intelligent, he said.
“They’re very curious — to the point it gets them in trouble,” he said.
A skunk named Herbie owned by Renee Pearlstein of Madison was named king of Skunkfest.
A skunk named May owned by Nancy Green of Novelty was named queen.
Cipriani’s own little darling, an albino skunk named Gina, was second runner-up for queen.
“She’s a cuddler,” Cipriani said. “She sleeps in my bed, too.”
months, other live performances at the Palace will include The Amazing Kreskin on Oct. 27, the Roots & Boots Tour 2012 on Nov. 23, the Spirit of Christmas on Dec. 8 and 9 and Restless Heart on March 9, 2013, according to Scott Muska, Palace Board treasurer.
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