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Unusual Pets - Skunks

By: Alex Lieber

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With a Latin name that translated into "stinks, stinks," the skunk was once the Rodney Dangerfield of the animal world. But the perception of the Mephitis mephitis or skunk, is improving as more people adopt these native-born animals as pets. In fact, skunks are quickly becoming one of the more common of the "uncommon" pets.

If bred by a reputable breeder, a de-scented skunk can make an excellent companion, and can even be considered a patriotic pet – skunks can definitely carry a "made-in-America" label. They are not found on any other continent or island unless imported there.

Skunks have been domesticated for almost 200 years. The have extraordinary intelligence, memory and problem-solving ability. You cannot train or correct a skunk like any other animal. It takes patience and love.

Skunks show a lot of human traits – they can be warm, funny and affectionate at times, as well as demanding, obstinate and aloof. They are curious, so you can expect them to rummage through drawers, pocketbooks, the laundry hamper and other such fascinating places. They also know what they want. Skunks have been known to steal the covers and pillows off beds to improve their own sleeping quarters.

Learn more about what it takes to own a skunk by reading the story Choosing a Skunk.

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