Alberta Campgrounds | Safely Encountering a Skunk

Alberta Campgrounds | Safely Encountering a Skunk

Many people may not realize, but skunks are native to Alberta, and when going to Alberta campgrounds. They are extremely likely to come across this timid mammal.

Skunks eat insects, and are nocturnal creatures. So people are only likely to come across this animal. If they are active in Alberta campgrounds at sundown. Or in the middle of the night.

People who might be enjoying visiting around a campfire, might see skunks walking by. Or when they are on their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

However, because skunks are timid, and do not have a lot of natural defences. They often steer clear of animals larger than them.

In fact, even though many people are afraid of their spray. That is only a last line of defence. And something that they do only if they think their life is threatened.

And even if they are getting ready to spray, they will do all large number of posturing motions. In order to scare a predator away. So that they do not have to spray.

This posturing includes stamping their feet and hissing. As well as acting like they are going to charge. They are not going to charge. Because they have no way of attacking. But this is the last thing that they are going to do before they turn their rear end around to spray.

In fact, while people are fearful of the spray and they should not be. This reputation has done very well for them in the animal kingdom. Causing typical predators, such as foxes, badgers, coyotes and wolves. To stay away. In order to avoid being sprayed by this noxious fluid.


The reason why skunks will not want to spray. Is because not only can it deplete their energy significantly. It can also leave them defenceless for 7 to 10 days. While their body makes more fluid.

Therefore, knowing what to do when encountering a skunk. Can help people avoid appearing threatening. So that the skunk can run away. And the people and their pets can leave the situation unscathed.

The first thing that people should do if they have encountered a skunk in Alberta campgrounds. Is to simply stay still. If they are walking they should stop. If they are talking they should stop. This can help appear as nonthreatening to a skunk as possible.

If the skunk does not immediately run away. People can start moving slowly and silently backwards. Ensuring that they do not turn their back on this animal, so that they know what it is doing at all times.

While getting as much distance in between the animal and themselves is important. Skunks can spray up to 3 m. And so they would have to put a lot of distance in between them and the animal To make much of a difference.

By walking backwards very slowly and quietly. If hikers or campers have a flashlight. They can flash it once at the skunk. In hopes of encouraging it to run away safely.

By knowing how to encounter a skunk. Can help keep people and their pets safe, from being sprayed by their noxious scent.

Alberta Campgrounds | Safely Encountering a Skunk

People should be aware of all of the different wildlife they can encounter in Alberta campgrounds. While this can be one of the reasons why people want to enjoy nature. Is to enjoy some of the wildlife they might see.

Depending on what area of the province they travel to. There can be a wide variety of animals and wildlife.

For example, the southern parts of the province can have rattlesnakes in their very desert like environment. While the mountains will have a wide variety of animals. Including mountain goats and bighorn sheep. In addition to deer, elk and moose.

If people are going to Alberta campgrounds near Lake. They will likely see a wide variety of waterfowl. Including Canadian geese, ducks and even pelicans and herons.

However, no matter what part of the province people go camping or hiking in. Skunks are native to the entire province. And they are likely present in any environment. They just might not be seen.

They may not be seen simply because they are nocturnal animals. And because they do not have a lot of natural defences. Typically try to stay out of sight as much as possible.

However, from time to time people and their pets can get sprayed by this small animal. Which can results in skin air rotation, temporary blindness, watery eyes and running noses. As well as nausea, and vomiting.


Knowing exactly what to do once a person or an animal is sprayed is important. To minimize the effects of this noxious liquid.

The chemicals in the spray are oily, and will smell like sulphuric acid. If sprayed in the eyes, people should start rinsing the eyes out with cool water. This will get rid of the oil in their eyes as much as possible. And can help keep people from rubbing their eyes as well.

Four the spray that has gotten onto a person or an animal’s skin or a person’s clothing. Any acidic fluid can break down the oil. This is why tomato juice was often passed around as an antidote to skunk spray.

However, anything acidic can help, so if people do not have tomato juice on hand. A mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can be effective.

When using this mixture, people should be aware to get it off skin or for quickly. Because it has a bleaching effect. It may take three or four treatments to neutralize the oil and smell. But this is a much better alternative to the stink of the scent.

If people do not have hydrogen peroxide on hand. Any acid even an acid like white vinegar. Can help neutralize the oil, and keep people from experiencing the air rotation of the oily secretion.

Any time campers or hikers go to any Alberta campgrounds. They should ensure that they have on them something like hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar on hand. To neutralize skunk spray. On the off chance that they encounter this animal.