Appearance: Striped skunks are about the size of a domestic cat, weighing from 2.5 to 10 pounds. Typically, striped skunks have a dark black body with a bright white stripe which begins on the head and splits into two parallel stripes down the back and onto the tail. Their long nails are adapted for digging, particularly on their front feet.
Behavior: To protect themselves from predators, they have glands near the base of their tails that can spray a highly noxious musk at predators. They can spray this musk as far as 10-15 feet and can spray up to six times in quick succession. Before they spray, they will first try to run away and if that doesn’t work, it will then arch it back, hiss, stomp its feet, or even charge the predator– they will only spray as a last resort.
Range: Striped skunks are found across most of continental North America from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico.
Diet: They are omnivores and eat many things including small insects, worms, mice, eggs, berries, vegetables, and small chicks.
Date of Birth: Unknown
Elvis came to the WNC Nature Center from the Knoxville Zoo in September 2017.