They Are Gentle CreaturesSkunks are not aggressive animals at all. They are actually very docile and shy creatures that would prefer to run away from a fight whenever possible. Skunks don't go around looking for people or other animals to spray. They don't have to. Their distinctive black-and-white markings send a warning to potential predators and well-meaning humans alike to stay away. The problem is that skunks cannot understand humans' intentions, so they may feel threatened by you even if you do not believe that your behavior toward them is aggressive. Skunks are nocturnal, so it is rare to see them during the day, but if you do see one, try to stay calm and keep a respectful distance. Be careful walking out your front door at night, or you may come across a skunk unawares.
They Only Spray as a Last ResortAfter a skunk has sprayed, it takes its body over a week to replenish its supply of the smelly chemical, during which time a skunk is virtually defenseless. Therefore, skunks conserve their spray and only use it when they feel they have no other options. A skunk that sees an escape route prefers to take advantage of it. It is only when they feel cornered that they think about spraying. Usually, a skunk usually gives ample warning of its intentions before using its spray:
- Stamping its feet
- Shaking its tail
- Standing on its front legs in a "handstand"
- Bending to the side to aim its spray