Baby Skunk


found a baby skunk?

When you see a baby skunk, also called a kit, they may or may not need your help. The first thing to do is assess the situation. We created this guide to help you figure out if a baby skunk needs your assistance.

Orphaned Kits

5 Questions to ask if you find a baby skunk

Is the baby skunk orphaned?

When a baby skunk is truly orphaned, you will see them wandering alone without any adult skunks nearby. Baby skunks typically stay close to their mother, especially during the early stages of their life. Mother skunks hunt for food during the day and will return to their babies after a period of time. It is important to observe the area for an extended period to allow the mother a chance to return. If the mom does not return within 24 hours, it is likely the baby is orphaned.

Do you hear calls of distress? If the baby skunk appears to be distressed, crying, or making unusual vocalizations, these may be indications that the kit is orphaned. These sounds are often a call for help or an attempt to locate mother.

Does the baby skunk look malnourished or dehydrated? Another sign a baby skunk may need your help is if the kit looks malnourished or dehydrated. A healthy baby skunk should have a plump body and smooth fur. If it appears thin, weak, or has sunken eyes, it may not have been fed for some time.

Did you find the baby skunk in an unusual or dangerous place? Mother skunks protect their babies safe by guiding them to stay in a safe location. If you find a kit in a dangerous or unusual place, such as a busy road, a construction site, or an area with many predators, it might have become separated from its mother and is unable to return.

Is the baby skunk sick or injured? It is important to check for any visible injuries or signs of illness. An orphaned baby skunk might have wounds, parasites, or other health issues that indicate it has been without parental care for a while.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, the baby skunk probably needs your help. In the next section, we provide six tips to help you safely capture and transport the kit to a local wildlife rehabilitation center. 

6 steps to help a

baby skunk in need

Help a baby skunk step 1

First, ensure your safety by wearing protective clothing, including gloves and long sleeves. Baby skunks can carry diseases and may spray if they feel threatened, so it’s important to minimize direct contact.

Help a baby skunk step 2

Step two is to approach the baby skunk slowly and calmly to avoid startling it. Sudden movements can cause the skunk to become defensive, increasing the risk of being sprayed.

Help a baby skunk step 3

The next step is to use a towel or a thick cloth to gently cover the baby skunk. This can help calm the animal and make it easier to handle without causing it stress.

Help a baby skunk step 4

Carefully lift the covered skunk and place it into a well-ventilated, secure container, such as a pet carrier or a cardboard box with air holes. Make sure the container is lined with soft material to provide comfort.

Help a baby skunk step 2

Once the skunk is safely contained, keep the container in a quiet, warm place away from pets and children. Avoid unnecessary handling to reduce stress on the animal.

Help a baby skunk step 3

Once the skunk is safely contained, keep the container in a quiet, warm place away from pets and children. Avoid unnecessary handling to reduce stress on the animal.

What to do after capturing the kit

As we mentioned, the best way to help the baby skunk after a safe capture, is to take it to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for expert care. However, there are a few things you can do to provide immediate care in the meantime.

Keep the skunk warm. Baby skunks are susceptible to hypothermia, so it is important to maintain their body temperature. Use a heating pad set on low, a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel, or a heat lamp placed at a safe distance to provide warmth. Make sure there is enough space for the skunk to move away from the heat source if it becomes too warm.

Avoid feeding the kit until you have consulted with someone experienced with wildlife rehabilitation. Baby skunks have specific dietary needs, and improper feeding can cause more harm than good. A wildlife rehabilitator can provide guidance on the appropriate diet and feeding schedule for the skunk’s age and condition.

Minimize handling and stress. Excessive handling can cause additional stress and potentially worsen the skunk’s condition. Keep the environment quiet and limit interactions to what is necessary for the skunk’s care.

Finally, let’s address what anyone must wonder when they first spot a baby skunk in need!

Do Baby Skunks Spray?

Baby skunks do have the ability to spray as a defense mechanism. However, their spraying behavior is not as developed or controlled as it is in adult skunks. Typically, baby skunks will start to spray when they are around three to four weeks old, but their aim may not be as effective and the potency of their spray may not be as strong as that of an adult skunk.

Caretakers should be cautious when handling baby skunks, even if they appear very young. The instinct to spray can be triggered by fear or stress, and unfamiliar handling can provoke such a response. It’s important to approach baby skunks calmly and gently to minimize the chances of them feeling threatened.

In the event that a baby skunk does spray, the odor can be quite strong and difficult to remove. You can deodorize yourself and your surroundings by combining hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap, which can be effective in neutralizing the odors of skunk spray.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator or a local animal rescue organization. These professionals have the experience and knowledge to care for the skunk properly and can provide guidance on how to handle the situation without causing undue stress to the animal or yourself.

If you ever find a baby skunk and have questions about how to care for it, we recommend looking up your local wildlife rehabilitation center for help or contact Wildlife Images. We are happy to help!

Baby Skunks at

Wildlife images

Every year good samaritans like yourself rescue orphaned baby skunks in Southern Oregon and bring them to Wildlife Images.

Our expert clinic staff knows how to care for them properly, so they can be released in the wild safely. We keep them in a safe space, feed them nutritious food, and minimize contact with them so they do not imprint on humans. They are adorable!

We have a long history of helping orphaned skunk kits. Here is a clip of the first group of kits we fostered in 2024.

It’s so rewarding to see them safe and sound and enjoying a delicious and nutritious fruit salad in our skunk nursery!