Spotlight on Gidget

I’m posting this on behalf of Landa Berry. She recently lost a kit because another kit attacked it. Sadly, it did not survive. Her story is below.

“Yesterday turned into a horrible day. I am going to post what happened, so that others may be spared what we are going through. We have been having trouble keeping Gypsy in her playpen, we did everything. She would sometimes get in Gidget’s playpen and be mean to her. I went to lunch yesterday with my daughter, picked up some stuff from Wal Mart (skipped the trip to
Spotlight on GidgetPublix) and went home. I was not gone 2 hrs. When I got home I checked on the girls, Gypsy had mauled Gidget, I rushed Gidget to the vet, but she did not make it. Milt and I have had skunks for 15 years (I got Peu June, 2001) and we have had around 65 skunks-mostly rescues over the years. NEVER! have I seen a baby skunk kill and maul another baby skunk, especially 2 females (ages 7-11 weeks). Milt and I are beating ourselves up, maybe if we put the playpens in different rooms, maybe if I got home sooner, what if, what if…As, ripped up as we are, please know, we still love Gypsy very much, she is still a baby and I honestly believe things happened before I bought her (like being fed only once a day, kept in pine shavings….who knows what) that caused her to be mean to Gidget, I will never know. Please! If you get multiple babies, watch them very closely, if there is any aggression towards each other at all, keep them separate unless you are right with them, we never dreamed this would happen. We have all learned to make sure we keep unspayed/neutered adults apart, but these were two female babies.”

Landa Berry
Contributor

3 thoughts on “Spotlight on Gidget

  1. This is very sad news! Hopefully posting it will help others learn that captive wildlife is a term to describe an animal that will behave instinctively. When we choose to bring captive wildlife into a home, they must be housed in a manner that protects both them and the other residents of the home. If caging is needed, they should NOT be in the same room. It is like gasoline on a fire for a territorial animal or one that is high strung. Same sex aggression is pretty common and one of the reasons that people who get more than one kit are advised to keep them apart. As soon as an animal shows signs of being an alpha or dominant male or female, one must be prepared to keep them apart permanently if necessary.
    Some signs to watch for:
    1) aggression toward other animals.
    2) they don’t seem to know their place in the home dynamic. There is always a pecking order. The skunk that doesn’t understand that is either a danger to others or at risk from others.
    3) territorial behavior. This is my area/human/possession and no one can come near it. Those skunks can strike without what seems like no warning to humans.
    There is always one certainty which is that kits will do what their instincts tell them to do. Most of what we call socializing a kit, is designed to help blunt their natural instincts so they are easier to live with. You can get to know the adult skunk over a period of years. Instinctive behavior becomes less strong and usually only pops up during mating season. One may think they know the kit, but incidences like this prove otherwise and they happen every year to someone, somewhere. Kits who are lost young are always the sweetest ones. The owner is left with could of, should of, and would of. None of us get a do over. Human logic and skunk instinct is like two separate languages. Very sad for all!

  2. i was so sad to read this!
    we always strive to do our best to bring these little ones up from a little kit to a full grown skunk. sadly, tragedies occur.
    landa has a good heart & truly cares for her little ones. despite all her love & caring, a dreadful event still occurred. this shows
    these things can happen to anyone.
    we all must be vigilant to care for these little ones, to try to think of the worst possible things & do whatever we can to prevent
    them. may little gidget rest in peace with the others who have crossed the bridge before her.

  3. Sad news indeed!!! Unfortunately, those times when we are cuddling and watching antics, it’s so hard to remember that animals still have an instinctively wild side. I’ve found the same with my cats. We think we’ve tamed them while they thoroughly know they’ve trained us!!! Always be aware and look for signs no matter how trained you think they are. Situations like this are no one’s fault and we tend to overthink on what we should have done. Always watch and try to stay a step ahead….it’s not easy.

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