By Vern and Lori Gieger
love affair with wildlife began some 20 years ago, and started with
an ad on the radio. Our local humane society and Dept. of Natural Resources
were looking for people to rehabilitate wildlife. Remembering stories
my father told me about Jenny, one of his childhood companions,
I was intrigued. After a discussion with my husband, Vern, we decided
to give them a call. A few days after finishing our training, three
baby raccoons arrived. Looking into those tiny eyes, as they grasped
a finger with their paws, we realized how innocent and helpless they
were, and how much they needed human help for their very
survival. We were hooked! This is what we wanted to do. Heres
to you Jenny!
Pepe Le Pewww!
what beautiful evening, a great time to sit back and relax, taking the
time to smell the well, its not the roses! We have all
smelt that unmistakable odor! It reminds us that we are not alone. That
a small, black and white critter is lurking near by. That smell also
tells us that some unsuspecting intruder got just a little too close.
And will probably be sleeping outside tonight.
Skunks live only in North America.
There are four species of skunks. They occupy a variety of habitats
including forests, cultivated farmland, and even suburban neighborhoods.
Having adapted well to neighborhoods, its not uncommon to find
skunks and domestic cats dining peacefully together. They tend to be
quite tolerant of humans and other animals and can often be approached
quite closely. There have been cases of skunks entering homes through
pet doors, and finding a quiet closet or empty bed, taking a nap. As
long as the skunk does not feel threatened, it wont spray. Ummm,
wouldnt recommend waking him up!
Skunks have a bad reputation but are actually
very shy and non-aggressive animals, using their weapon
as a last resort. They rarely attack unless cornered or defending their
young. If unable to flee, a skunk will usually fluff its fur, shake
its tail, stamp the ground with its front feet, growl, stand on its
hind legs, turn its head and spit to scare the potential attacker. If
those techniques do not work, it will lift up its tail and spray. The
skunk is aware of the respect it enjoys and will rarely run from a threat.
This tidy little animal serves the beneficial
purpose of insect and rodent control. Skunks are important to the balance
of nature. Skunks are generally nocturnal and begin foraging at sunset.
Their diet consists of all types of rodents, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes,
scorpions, and garden pests such as snails, crickets, gophers, grubs,
cockroaches and all other insects. Also being carrion eaters, they keep
roadways and neighborhoods clean. An estimated 70 percent of a skunks
diet consists of insects considered harmful to humans.
With their slow, waddling gait and bushy
tail, these gentle mammals are delightful to see from a distance, and
play an important role in keeping nature in balance the natural
Remember, if you have a problem with a
wild uninvited guest or encounter a wild animal that needs
help and can be caught call: Lakeside Wildlife Rescue & Rehab. 765-4916
(Vern & Lori Geiger)
(Ed. Note: This marks the debut in
our publication of what has been a very popular column here at Lakeside.
Welcome, Vern and Lori. May your stay with us be beneficial to many
of Gods creatures, four-legged, as well as otherwise.)