All 8 skunks have been moved into a new, larger pen together. What a chore this whole bloody process was! First, I spent a day of hell putting the damn thing up in oppressive, mosquito infested, humidity. Once it was ready, I went to move the original 4 that were already outside into it.
Second, when I went to get them, the pen was empty!! Turns out one of the sides on the pen popped off (or was pulled off by a determined raccoon trying to get in at the food, as I have discovered them to be doing to the new pen.....yes, I caught them in the act the other night!) and the little stinkers found their way out. I was beside myself, because of course they are not big enough to go! Finding them out there now....literally like finding a needle in a haystack! I went and got the new 4 and put them in the new pen.
Third, a miracle! I found the needle!! Don't ask me how I saw it, but a little movement inside a feral cat shelter I had out there...buried deep in the underbrush I might add, caught my eye as I was freaking out on the phone to Laurie describing my ordeal! A little skunk head taking a peek! I force my way into the thick brush and quickly grab the shelter and tip it up so they couldn't climb out the entrance, then stumble my way out. A quick peek inside reveals all 4 escape artists! Whew!
Fourth, while bringing them back over to the new pen, doesn't one actually manage to climb up and take a leap out of the entrance! I of course manage to grab the little bugger mid air by the scruff, really pissing him off, and get sprayed in the process of dragging him back into the box.
Fifth, I put them in the pen with the new gang. I put the shelter back into the brush and when I come to check on the skunks, I see another one outside the pen. I'm thinking, did I miscount? Is that a wild baby that was hanging around? Then, as my muddled, overheated brain was trying to focus on and solve this puzzle, magic! One of the little guys inside the pen just walks through a wall and, Abra cadabra....it's outside with the other one! Crap...the holes are too big! (which I made smaller, by the way, securing extra wire around the whole outside!)
For the love of God!!!
Sixth, I'm running around like a mad woman....putting skunks back inside the pen and grabbing whatever I have to secure the pen. It was like rebuilding it all over again...in the oppressive heat, being eaten alive by mosquitoes....even with mosquito clothes on I might add.....pissed off and miserable as hell by this point! By the time I finished, I couldn't have cared less if they all escaped that night! LOL
Well I'm happy to report, it's been 3 nights and a morning head count has revealed no escapes! This despite the damn raccoons trying to dig their way into the pen to get at the food! There is chain link on the bottom of the pen that prevents the coonies from getting in, but with big gaping holes being dug in the dirt under it, it is making a possible escape route for the stinkers to squeeze out those larger holes! I put boards under the edges to prevent digging, then large rocks...but coonies are powerful of course. When I went out there last night I caught them in the act! Kits running everywhere and mom's running up the nearby trees...LOL. Of course when I start chastising the group of them, doesn't Belle just come running over like "Oh hey Mom....wha'cha bringing us?" Yup...my own kids, guilty as sin!
Sigh....looks like I will once again be catering to the crew....putting some food out there for them to keep them from going for the skunks food in the pen. I can't not feed the stinkers at night....they are nocturnal after all and have to learn to scrounge up dinner at night.....
OK, so forgive my rambling! All 8 skunks are getting along just fine and loving it out there. Despite being the almighty food bringer....they are quite skittish of me and run into their den when I approach(not a bad thing at all...I want them afraid of people!) so getting good pics of them is difficult. Maybe if I didn't sound like a mack truck driving over a bed of nice crispy potato chips when I went out there........ ;)