ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Skunk sightings are up locally and across the state of Missouri.
Skunk expert Jeff Beringer, with the Missouri Conservation Department, says the colder the winter, the more skunks start showing up this time of year.
“Skunks don’t really hibernate but they do den up for warmth and kind of go into a stupor or a sleep and then they get active in February when it warms up and that’s also the time when they do most of their breeding,” says Beringer.
A lot of those amorous skunks end up in the road during their frantic search for a mate, so drivers should keep their eyes peeled. Skunks are naturally nocturnal so day-time sightings can be a major red flag.
“If they’re out during the day, they’re probably sick. You want to avoid a skunk at anytime but you don’t want to be messing with one during the day,” says Beringer.
Beringer says another concern with the increased skunk population, of course, is that they’re among the species that can spread rabies – meaning humans and pets should stay far away from them.