North Van man saves baby skunk from rat trap

A Central Lonsdale man is warning his neighbours after rescuing a baby skunk from a rat trap.

Mark Teasdale was at home Saturday when he heard his wife and neighbour call out for help.

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Outside, between their yards at 17th Street and St. Georges Avenue, was a baby skunk with its paw caught in a trap.

While they tried to corral the cute but malodourous mephitis, Teasdale turned to Twitter to figure out which animal rescue organization he should be seeking for help. Eventually, he found the Critter Care Wildlife Society, which sent two volunteers to help rescue the injured animal.

Before they arrived, the skunk got itself wedged under the fence and Teasdale saw his opportunity.

“I probably shouldn't have, but I released it and then it was free but it was still injured,” he said. “We spent an hour and it kept going back and forth on the fence. And basically it outsmarted us and took off.”

Teasdale said he knows rats can be an issue, especially near port terminals, but he said anyone who places a rat trap should keep their name and contact information on it so they are accountable for whatever gets snapped, whether it be a skunk, a dog or a child, he said.

“It’s pretty crappy having those things around the neighbourhood,” he said.

Skunks and raccoons are common in the area, especially in the bushes. But Teasdale said his family chosen to co-exist with them, even though he’s found himself at the business end of their noxious scent glands before.

“So when we come home late at night, we have to be really careful. We don't want to spook them,” he said.

Teasdale’s good deed on Saturday, however did not go unpunished. Before the skunk made its escape, it gave him a blast of stench right onto a favourite pair of shoes.

“Skunk smell can have you dry heaving. It gets on your clothes. It's on your body. It's on everything. It's the most disgusting thing ever,” he said.

rat trap
The rat trap removed from the baby skunk's paw. photo Mark Teasdale

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