Curly Skunk
WILDES Ambassador

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Curly on her way to an event.. Picture by Jackie Darbyshire
Cury enjoying some outside time. Picture by Jackie Darbyshire

Curly's Story
By Jackie Darbyshire

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Curly came to us as an infant, the “first of the season” , in 2006.  As is sometimes the case, not all orphans come in at the same time.  This particular year there was a longer span of time in between his arrival and others of his species.  Though we try to be very careful a rehab animal does not “imprint” on its caregiver, Curly apparently did not get the memo.  At his tender age it was necessary to handle him in order for him to nurse and to make sure he was getting adequate nourishment and psychological nurturing.  This was just until more skunks came in.  Or so we thought. . . . .

Text Box:  curlyCurly got his name from his ability to sleep through anything all curled up in a ball. What made Curly different than the average rehab intake was that when new arrivals did come in, the usual practice for skunks is to put them into a group so that they will bond and learn from each other instead of becoming pets.  It is astounding how well nature programs animals from birth to instinctively know how to survive as the species they are.  Some are more adaptive than others of the same species so the slower ones learn from the smarter ones.  That was the plan.

Unfortunately, Curly was having none of it.  After days of attempting to integrate him into the group and countless skirmishes and a lot of yelling and screaming from all parties involved, it became clear that he felt he was NOT a skunk and would not be associated with them in any way.   To this day he has adhered to that theory.

Once it was obvious he was not going to be releasable, it was necessary he get a job and earn his keep.  There was an opening for Skunk Ambassador around that time.  He applied, and was accepted.  His first assignment was at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

He was a hit with the students!  It was amazing to see the interest in him and how the public crowded around him to learn more.  It was just as amazing to see the crowd withdraw like the outgoing tide when they found out he was not de-scented!  He is now four years old and is still not de-scented and he has never sprayed.  Not once.  He has been to countless events of all kinds and he has behaved like a perfect gentleman each and every time.  He truly has been an ideal ambassador of his species.


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