Do Skunks Fight Each Other?

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One of the interesting aspects of the animal kingdom is that many different animals actually fight other members of their own species. There are several reasons why this can happen, but particularly in skunks there are some interesting features of the way that they fight, and in some cases they can actually cause each other significant harm. However, it is worth noting that cases of skunks fighting are actually quite rare when you consider the number of skunks that are actually present across the country.

The Solitary Habits Of Skunks

One of the main reasons that skunks fighting is a fairly rare occurrence is that skunks are territorial and quite solitary animals, so there are only a limited number of situations where the skunks will come into contact with each other. This solitary lifestyle does mean that the skunks can also be a little more vulnerable, as unlike pack animals they will not have the defense of numbers, and will be entirely reliant on their own ability to stay out of trouble.

Why Skunks Will Fight Each Other

The most common reason that skunks will usually be fighting is if one has tried to move into the territory of the other, and this can mean that the skunks will be competing for the food and the resources that are available in that area. In some situations, you will also find pairs of male skunks fighting if they are competing to mate with a female. In both situations the skunks will be fighting with their claws and their teeth, and can certainly leave some nasty wounds or even kill each other in some situations.

Use Of The Anal Glands To Spray Other Skunks

The distinctive feature of skunks fighting each other is that they choose not to use the foul smelling spray that they produce in their anal glands which they will commonly use then they are in combat with other animals. This may be a genetic trait as both animals will know the other has the ability to use this fluid, and because it takes time to replenish will not waste it on another skunk.

What To Do If You Find A Pair Of Skunks Fighting

If you do encounter skunks that are fighting, the best thing to do is to stay well clear from the animals, otherwise you are just as likely to find that the skunks will turn on you. You should also ensure that any children or domestic animals are also kept away from the skunks, otherwise they too could also be targeted.

Go back to the Skunk Removal page, or learn tips by reading How to get rid of skunks.

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