Colorado Springs Neighbors Battle Over Skunks

A small battle is being waged in a Colorado Springs neighborhood. Residents say they're tired of dealing with a family of skunks, which keeps them from stepping outside their front door without looking both ways.

You'd think that a problem with wild, furry mammals in a residential area could be resolved by the Division of Wildlife, the Humane Ssociety, the Health Department, or even Code Enforcement, but when it comes to skunks, they apparently fall between the cracks.

“The smell gets so bad at night we have to close our windows because we can't sleep,” said resident Myra Zapata. “I mean the smell is so bad, it makes you sick you know.”

Zapata and her family always peek out the windows before heading outside, especially with their dog. They're on the lookout for the stinky critters .

They say the woman who lives across the street is allowing a family of 7 to 8 skunks to hang out and spray others, by setting cat food near her front door.

The neighbor said she's not feeding or housing skunks at all, she's simply feeding the neighborhood cats which have been abandoned, and this is the only place she can do that.

She said she can't help that the skunks are eating the cat food. She says she too, is bothered by the skunks' odor, but doesn't like the only alternative to removing them: euthanization.

According to a Colorado Division of Wildlife regulation, skunks can't be relocated. To remove them, they must be euthanized and disposed of, and that policy's unacceptable to this neighbor.

Since skunks aren't considered "big game" like deer, elk, or bear, there's no rule against feeding them, but wildlife officers discourage it.

District Wildlife Manager Sabrina Schnelker says the neighbor could be found liable in court, if a neighbor is bitten by a skunk.

“Our biggest concern with it... is just human health and safety. a lot of kids are in the area, families, pets,” Schnelker said.

The neighbor believes the Division of Wildlife should allow skunks to be relocated instead of euthanized. That's why she won't give permission for anyone to set foot on her property if they intend to kill them.
For now, the battle continues.

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  • by Pam Location: Coorado Springs on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:48 PM
    There are ways of removing skunks if they are on your property. The Division of Wildlife should have told you this. The skunks are beginning to den for the winter. Although they do not completely hibernate, they do become inactive. Contact the Division of Wildlife and ask them how to remove skunks from your property. You can also call the Wild Forever Foundation, a local relocation and and animal rescue organization. Although they will not remove skunks they can tell you how you can get them to move (only if they are on your property). Feeding wildlife is never a good idea. If you insist, remove the food items at night. Skunks are most active at dusk and at night. Take away their food source and they should move out on their own.
  • by pam Location: woodland park on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:28 PM
    It's getting colder out and the skunks will be less active. Sleeping or staying for the most part dormant. You live in a state that has a wonderful variety of wildlife. Learn to live with your surroundings or move.
  • by Amanda Location: Aurora on Sep 21, 2007 at 05:35 AM
    Go get some cougar dung from the zoo and put it where the skunks tend to be. They'll move out fast.
  • by F Location: Southeast Colorado Springs on Sep 19, 2007 at 04:29 PM
    Carrie, I like your solution,but unfortanetly skunks supposedly cannot be relocated per division of Wildlife...and the internet. Please correct me if I am wrong...and let me know if it is possible to relocate them and if so, where? I have lived in this same house for 27 years, and it was not me taking them away from their home...this has been a problem here for the last 2 years.(maybe someone has illegally relocated them here!!!) :) I am against killing them, too. If someone has a better solution, please let me know. :)
  • by jenn Location: c springs on Sep 19, 2007 at 01:33 PM
    And by the way - Carrie - we didn't take away thier homes by cutting down the forest. There was no forest here in the Springs. All the trees were planted.
  • by jenn Location: c springs on Sep 19, 2007 at 01:31 PM
    Seriously - let's talk about common sense. If the woman is feeding stray cats, fine, but take the food in at night. Let your neighbors live their lives as well. And if you like the skunk smell - which few people do - go live in the mountains and take the skunks with you. Have some respect for your neighbors.
  • by Carrie Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 19, 2007 at 09:09 AM
    Since the Springs has grown, wildlife has no place to go. We took their homes away by building more houses and buildings. So the answer is to kill the skunks and slap the neighbor who feeds them with a lawsuit? Let's get real!!! The skunks can be relocated if it's posing a problem to the community, that's what we pay them to do. Sure it's easier to kill them, but if we keep killing these innocent animals, what will become of our environment? We will have all animals extinct just so the human race can be comfortable. God put skunks here for a reason. Those opposed to having skunks in your neighborhood should look deeper into this matter and find a better way to resolve it besides killing animals. Set up skunk traps, sedate them, and take them to the forest. Remember, we took their homes away by cutting down the forest to build our homes! They need some place to go.
  • by No Snobs Location: Co Springs on Sep 18, 2007 at 06:45 PM
    Ann exhibits the typical Colorado mentality. If you don't like it, leave. Maybe some/most would like it here more if most people were friendly.
  • by F Location: Southeast Colorado Springs on Sep 18, 2007 at 04:36 PM
    Our family has been battling the skunk issue as well. They are a nuisance and because the neighbors have junk in their yard, they are live there and come over to our yard and the other neighbors yard. Our dogs have been sprayed more than once this summer, and the smell is unbearable, not to mention the smell in your house when your dog gets it in the face. I too have had no luck with Div. of Wildlife, or the Humane Society. It's easy for those of you to say leave them be...maybe you like living a smelly environment or walking out into the back yard face to face with these critters, I don't. There has to be another solution!!! Tired of being skunked....
  • by Joe Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 18, 2007 at 03:06 PM
    Since skunks can appear in almost any COS neighborhood, why the interest ? It's wise to mitigate bone-head harrassment of the animals or the lady.
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