A beloved and gentle member of the Wildlife Images family has passed away. Kimmie the Striped Skunk both baffled and delighted guests for the past 6 years.
Her unique coloring caught the eye of many and her sweet demeanor made them instant fans. Kimmie slipped away peacefully in her sleep next to her two best friends, Scratch & Sniff. Our clinic crew had been keeping a close eye on her following a decline in health. Her blood work showed problems with her liver and kidneys for which she received medication and fluids as part of her treatment plan. She passed away at 8-years-old which is considered a full life for skunks in human care.
Kimmie was previously a pet. When she arrived in 2015, she was obese and required careful dietary control to return her to a healthy weight. Kimmie’s most memorable characteristic was her color. Many guests thought she was albino but in fact, Kimmie was leucistic, which means that she had less pigment than a normal skunk. By looking closely you could see the faintest line of a grey stripe along her back indicating that she was indeed a striped skunk. Although this mutation does rarely occur in wild skunks, it is much more common in the pet trade because people are willing to pay more for unusually colored animals.
Kimmie’s life at Wildlife Images was full of good food, a warm home with friends, and lots of skunk stompin’!
Kimmie enjoyed walks on her harness, snuggling with Scratch and Sniff, and treats of mealworms and honey water. Like any skunk, she loved naps and was known to fall asleep in her keepers’ arms. Her antics were far more captivating than her color and she would do just about anything for a peice of broccoli. Her nose peaking out from under a blanket, searching for breakfast, was priceless! We’ll miss you, Kimmie. Thank you for teaching us what it means to be a skunk.–Keeper Shannon, Wildlife Images Staff
Kimmie was an amazing ambassador skunk. She had a sweet and gentle nature but was able to hold her own with her roommates, Scratch and Sniff. When she first arrived at Wildlife Images she was timid and had to be fed in the kitchen with staff and volunteers because she was too nervous to eat with the other skunks. It was wonderful to see her develop and grow a bond with the other two and come out of her shell around them and staff. She will be very missed.-Jen Osburn-Eliot, Animal Services Manager
In memorial to Kimmie and her impact on guests as an educational Animal Ambassador we invite guests to continue visiting roommates Scratch & Sniff at their home at Mammal Landing.
To make a gift in Kimmie’s honor use the donation allocation “Ambassador Memorial Fund.” All donations will go to ensure the Animal Ambassadors at Wildlife Images have the best quality of life and continue to inspire children and adults alike.