Turing, Tesla, Grace, Carver, Franklin and Lovelace are 11-week-old baby skunks who were rescued after their mom was hit by a car. When they were only around a week old, some passersby heard tiny cries coming from deep inside a hole in the ground and immediately sprang into action.
“The finders were able to get three of them and could tell they were very thin and cold, and called us,” Juniper Russo, executive director of For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, told The Dodo. “We got them stable and started rehabilitating them … then two days later, the finders heard more cries and realized three more babies were left behind deep inside the den. We were amazed they survived that long! The three more were harder to stabilize, but all six babies pulled through and have grown big and strong.”
The baby skunks have all settled in wonderfully at their temporary home and have become incredibly playful. They absolutely love playing with toys such as balls, bells, toy mice, and more natural things like nuts and pinecones.
“They get into the funniest little fights over them,” Russo said.
One day, Russo went to check on the baby skunks and clean their enclosure. Russo wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary until they saw little flashes of green fur and quickly couldn’t believe their eyes.
Three of the adorable little skunks had somehow managed to turn themselves completely green, and Russo had no idea how.
“When I first saw green skunks, I thought the heat had gotten to me,” Russo said.
It was incredibly hot that day and Russo had been working outside for seven hours, so at first, they legitimately thought the heat was getting to them. After Russo rubbed their eyes and splashed water on their face, though, the skunks were still green, so they grabbed them to take a closer look — and after a little while, they were able to solve the mystery.
“When I was getting them new playthings, I saw a grass hut for sale,” Russo said. “It was made for guinea pigs and rabbits, but the skunks don’t mind! Some parts of the little hut were dyed green and blue, but I saw on the label that it was edible, so I knew the dyes were safe … I realized that they had waded in their water bowls and then rolled around their grass hut.”
With the mystery of the green skunks solved, all Russo could do was laugh. The mischievous babies were completely fine and didn’t seem to notice that they were suddenly a different color. It’s been almost two weeks since the incident and they’re still green, but it’s a little lighter than it was, and Russo is confident that it’ll fade eventually.
“It’s fading as they groom themselves and roll in water to cool off,” Russo said. “None of them have had any problems from it.”
The skunks were recently moved into their final pre-release pen, and within the next month or two, they’ll be ready to head home to the wild — and hopefully, by then, they won’t be green anymore.