Can Skunks Climb Trees or Fences?

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There are many things that people will think about skunks, but one aspect that doesn't get considered too frequently is whether or not skunks are able to climb effectively. The situations of climbing trees and fences are also very different for skunks, as fences will usually be blocking their route, while trees are usually climbed voluntarily by animals. The physical features of skunks would suggest that they could be effective climbers, as they have muscular hind legs and sharp claws that should allow them to have good purchase on a range of different surfaces.

Skunks And Their Climbing Ability

Skunks are actually intermediates when you compare their climbing ability with the rest of the animal world, as they are able to climb, and use their claws to grip on to different surfaces, but they are also not as effective as some other species such as squirrels. Because their bodies are quite heavy, they are not natural climbers, and if there is an alternative to climbing a fence or a tree they will certainly take that option.

Reasons The Skunk May Climb

In most cases the reasons that skunks will climb will be one of two, and the first reason that skunks climb effectively is that they will want to get to a particular food source or location on the other side of a fence or barrier. Alternatively, in some cases skunks will also be fleeing from a particular predator or something that they perceive to be a threat.

Skunk Proofing Your Fence

There are several steps that you can carry out to make your skunk more resilient and able to keep skunks out, and the best material for this will be a wire mesh fence, although make sure the metal is thick enough to resist the shearing force of a skunk's claws. At the top of the fence, it is worth putting barbed wire or a section of fence that tilts outwards to stop the skunk from getting over, while embedding the fence at least six to twelve inches into the ground will stop them from digging under the fence.

Why Don't Skunks Climb Trees?

The striped skunk is the most common species found in the United States, and generally it doesn't like to climb trees. The reason for this is that although its sharp claws give it plenty of purchase as it is climbing, they are a hindrance when the skunk is trying to get down. However, the spotted skunk is a very different case, and these will climb readily, and they have actually adapted to descending trees head first.

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