Striped skunks are the biggest of the skunk species. They are easily identifiable by the white stripe running from head to tail, and each individual has a unique pattern of stripes. Skunks are intelligent and usually good-natured. As members of the weasel family Mustelidae, they share the characteristics of a musky odor and well-developed scent glands. The skunk excels at this potential and can discharge a foul-smelling fluid as a means of defense. Its scientific name, muftis, in Latin, means “bad odor”. Most skunks do not survive their first year because of infectious disease and severe weather conditions. If they do survive, in the wild they can live for up to 7 years, and in captivity up to 10 years. They can run as fast as 16 km/h (10mph).

Interesting facts:

A skunk’s smelly spray can reach up to ten feet, and be detected for up to 1.5 miles.

Skunks eat honeybees and wasps and often attack beehives.

Immune to snake venom, these animals will eat poisonous snakes such as rattlesnakes.

Although the eyesight of skunks is very poor, they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

A “surfeit” is the word for a group of skunks.