Surfeit stroll: Skunks take a walk along Elgin street
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News July 25, 2012 9:18PM
Pepe Le Pew parade? Florida resident Sue Hardt, who was visiting her father in Elgin this week, photographed this herd of five or six skunks making its way along LaVoie Avenue Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy of Sue Hardt.
Updated: August 27, 2012 10:44AM
ELGIN — A passel of skunks scurrying across LaVoie Avenue surprised Sue Hardt on Tuesday morning.
Six or seven apparently full-grown skunks were racing across the street.
“They were moving really fast,” said Hardt, of Largo, Fla. She’d been in Elgin visiting her father, Robert Hardt, and was packing when she saw the animals.
“There was a herd of skunks coming down the street,” Hardt said. She grabbed her cell phone camera and took a few photos before the animals, which are largely nocturnal, disappeared again.
Actually, a group of skunks is called a “surfeit of skunks,” and was probably a mother and her babies moving to find food and water, said Tim Schweizer, a spokesperson with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Skunks mate in late spring and the litters are born in early June, Schweizer said. The kits are weaned at six or seven weeks — and can appear full-sized before they leave their mothers, Schweizer said. “To see them in mid to late July is not unheard of,” he said.
While skunks are also more nocturnal, they are as stressed as other wildlife during the ongoing drought. “If they are hungry or thirsty, they will be out moving around,” Schweizer said.
But yes, seeing adult skunks together would seem odd, he added. “More than likely, if you see a skunk you will not see others together with them. But you might see young with mom, or moms with a couple of young,” he said.
Residents who want to know more about what wildlife they may see in the suburbs or more urban areas should check out the Web site web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/. The “Living with Wildlife in Illinois” page can give residents needed information about the wildlife they see regularly, he said.
“It is a good resource for critters they see in their neighborhoods,” Schweizer said.