Community Highlight: A team effort indeed!
Sometimes the story is TOO good not to share. We love highlighting and celebrating positive human-wildlife encounters. One of our volunteers and three neighbours in a Calgary community pulled together to reunite a mamma skunk and a baby with the rest of her little ones! The mother and baby were discovered trapped in a very deep window well. It is likely the baby fell down and mom went in after it, only to discover the large window well was too deep to clamber out of!
Our volunteer set a trap, hoping to eventually coax the mamma skunk in and be able to transport her out of the well with the least amount of stress, but she continually outsmarted the trapping mechanism. The trap had to be reset and carefully monitored. A neighbour west of the home, Peter Collins, checked on the trap intermittently and pointed our volunteer to the location of the family’s den site. During this time, Sue Homik, the neighbour whose property the skunk den was on, ensured the babies (who had been without mom for a full night and day) were fed and were still exhibiting healthy play out in the yard. She stayed behind to oversee the rescue mission even as her husband and two dogs left for their alternate property in Manitoba. By the evening, she had built a 12 foot ramp by stapling pieces of carpet to wood. The ramp was lowered into the window well, and at 11:11p.m., our volunteer received a text saying “Mamma is home! She got out! The ramp worked!”.
Sheetal Pallana, the homeowner where the deep window wells are located and the person who called to report the incident, said the house is newly built and he plans to get a grid placed over the wells to protect future wildlife passing through the property.
We love meeting communities who come together and work to coexist with wildlife. Thank you Sheetal, Sue, and Peter! We are thrilled to see Calgarians being friendly neighbours to our local species. Sue followed up with us and said mamma skunk and her babies moved on to another den shortly after (as all skunk families do…) so she can teach her young to hunt and forage! While they were entertaining neighbours for a while, this striped family had no plans to become community residents.
See below for a picture of the assembled rescue ramp.