Skunks are quite interesting and peculiar South Bend animals, most of the people associate black and white stripes with
them alongside the incredibly strong odor that they give out once they feel threatened, but there is a lot
more to them.
Skunks or Mephitis mephitis are Indiana mammals with an average body size of about 20 to 45 cm, while their tail ranges in lengths of 12-40 cm. In addition, their body weight is between 200g when they are young and up to 6kgs once they are grown and fully matured. As mentioned earlier, they are notaries for the use of the spray that is characterized by that horrible stench; however, they only use it in order to defend themselves from predators. The spray is in fact a liquid produced by their glands that are situated under the tail, it can travel the distance of up to 3 meters when they spray it.
They are nocturnal South Bend animals, and the distinguishing characteristics used to identify them are certainly their predominantly black body with a large white stripe that marks their forehead and stretches across their back from side to side. In addition, their footprints are quite unique and are easily recognizable when compared to other Indiana animals.
They are most active during nighttime and their behavior is characterized as somewhat slow and steady, and often times they can even appear to be a bit aggressive when defending against other Indiana animals, but that is in their nature. As far as their diet is concerned, they are useful for sustaining the ecological balance since they eat a lot of the harmful insects but also rodents as well. One downside to them is that they target eggs and young offspring of many birds in undefended nests. There were also instances where they have been found in many bee hives, as they love to feed on the bees as well. Additionally, they tend to cause problems on farms when they target South Bend chickens and eggs.
During winter, they live in groups which consist of several South Bend skunks, usually there is one male with about 12 females around him, they survive through the winter together in a den. Their abundant fat stores allow them to survive long winters since they do not hibernate but stay rather inactive. Their mating period involves the months of February throughout March where one male can mate with several females. After this season, the females take leave of the winter den and relocate to another, maternal den that is used to raise the young. They generally give birth to about 4 to 6 offspring after a period of about 9 weeks after mating, the young are quite helpless and it takes six weeks to bring them up to strength so that they can join their parents in other activities.
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