From the Toronto Wildlife Centre
On Jan. 5th, Toronto Wildlife Centre received a call about a shipment which had arrived at a company in Mississauga (just west of Toronto). It seems a surprise guest had made the trip to Canada from sunny southern California! Much to the shock of staff who were unloading the truck, a Striped Skunk had tentatively poked her nose out of some pvc piping which was part of the delivery from Torrance (south of Los Angeles). After some detective work, the story of what happened seemed clear… The pvc piping had been stored outside, in an area where skunks were frequently seen. The skunk must have gone into the piping, curled up and fell asleep for the day. But that day the piping was loaded onto a truck and taken to a company in Sante Fe Springs, California, where it was transferred to another truck inside a closed warehouse. That truck then left for Canada, a seven day journey during which the skunk went undetected. After traveling from Torrance to Sante Fe Springs, California, the skunk then went on to Port Huron, Michigan where the truck crossed the border and cleared customs with no trouble. Her voyage continued to Sarnia, Ontario, then on to the warehouse facility in Mississauga, where she was finally discovered. Once the skunk arrived at Toronto Wildlife Centre, she was assessed and determined to be dehydrated and a bit thin. There was some damage to the skin on the back of her neck, but it wasn’t very serious. She was in fairly good health, considering her ordeal. But now the little traveler must be returned to her home territory in California to be released. In addition to it being illegal for her to be let out into the wild so far away, she would be unlikely to survive it. Skunks are very territorial so if she were to be released here into suitable skunk habitat, there would already be skunks living there. They would not take to a stranger in their area very kindly and terrible fights would result. She needs to go back to the area where she belongs. We are appealing for help in getting her back to California. Airlines, which typically transport animals for us in these types of situations, are not able to help this time because of the risk that she may spray inside the closed aircraft. We are looking for a courier company, transport company, kindly individual making a road trip, etc., to give the skunk a lift home. Toronto Wildlife Centre would arrange the necessary permits, make arrangements for her care along the way, and organize her release in Torrance. Please call Toronto Wildlife Centre’s Wildlife Hotline at 416.631.0662 if you think you can help. Thank you!
I wonder if Univ. Toronto has a ride board???