Jackie Annis knows skunks aren’t for everyone, adding “they’re probably the most misunderstood animal in Alberta.”
Still, she’s enjoying every minute of caring for them right now at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, about 60 kilometres northwest of Calgary.
“Especially with the baby skunks, I could feed them all day,” Annis said. “They’re adorable.”
Almost 40 skunks have been brought into the centre over the past spring, most of them orphaned babies.
As a wildlife technician, Annis spends hours each day with them.
Getting sprayed is part of the job. Asked how many times it’s happened to her, Annis replied: “Oh my gosh, probably couldn’t count that.
“I’ll pick one up and it just sprays everywhere. But it’s not so bad once you get used to it.”
Annis prefers to focus of their good qualities.
“Skunks are awesome neighbours,” she said. “They eat a lot of bugs in backyards. And, they’re super cute.”
The skunks will remain at the centre for much of the summer, before being released back into the wild.