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.