Rescuers come to the aid of entangled skunk

February 9, 2010 7:18:57 AM PST
A Bay Area wildlife rescue organization came to the aid of a male skunk that got its head entangled in a batting cage in Aptos Monday morning.

Rebecca Dmytryk, who operates rescue nonprofit WildRescue, said she received a call from a female homeowner around 12:45 p.m. saying that a skunk had gotten his head entangled in the net of a batting cage in her backyard.

The cage netting is similar to gill net, which is typically used to trap fish, she said.

"When animals get into a net like that, they poke their heads through and get entangled," Dmytryk said.

In this case, the skunk poked his head through the net, got it stuck, panicked and then started spinning. When rescuers arrived, they managed to free the skunk but the net remained wrapped around his head.

Dmytryk and the rescuers drove the skunk to a vet in Los Gatos. She said the skunk will have to be anesthetized so that the vet can remove the netting from its neck.

The skunk will survive if it makes it through the anesthesia process, Dmytryk said.

She said she hoped to release the skunk back into its natural habitat in Aptos by this evening.

"Skunks are amazing, wonderful animals. They eat rats and mice... they eat our garbage. I hope he makes it through the process," Dmytryk said.

She said removing him from the cage was somewhat of an unpleasant experience. Rescuers approached the skunk carefully with a blanket to prevent being sprayed. But the skunk sprayed itself, Dmytryk said, an odor resembling "the most intense mix of sweet onions and garlic."

The WildRescue organization is dedicated to developing programs that promote the care of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife.

Dmytryk urged anyone who witnesses an animal in distress and in need of rescuing to call WildRescue at (866) WILD-911 or page her at (831) 429-2323.