EFFY the skunk caused a bit of a stink when she went missing from her Hucknall home on Bank Holiday Monday.
Owner Joe Coupe, of Yorke Street, (pictured with Effy) was devastated to discover Effy’s new outdoor enclosure had been breached by the inquisitive mammal, who had managed to manipulate the chicken wire fencing to make her escape.
But luckily Effy wasn’t walking on the wild side for long as just four days later, she returned looking for her home comforts.
“My raccoon, Elmo, escaped last year and was missing for three months,” explained a relieved Joe. “But I think the experience of searching for her made it easier this time around.”
Joe had plastered the area with posters and flyers highlighting his plea to find his beloved pet and enlisted the help of neighbours and friends to check gardens, sheds and garages in the search for his furry friend.
“I had put out some chopped chicken by the back door on the fourth night he had been missing and was about to go to bed at about 1am when I took one last look out the window and spotted my skunk tucking into the meal.
“I ran downstairs and scooped him up. I was so relieved he had come back so soon after the months that Elmo was lost,” added Joe who adopted the skunk four years ago.
Skunks are not commonly kept as pets in this country but despite this, according to Joe, they do make cute companions.
“Effy has a wonderful temperament and they are very intelligent. They are highly inquisitive and playful, much like toddlers, which makes them very funny to watch.”
Native to the Americas, skunks are often depicted in cartoon as comic characters, mainly because of their playful attitude and their spraying ability which produces a notorious and noxious odour which it uses as a defence mechanism against predators.
Both Elmo the raccoon and her off-spring Sulley, together with Effy are now reunited to the delight of Joe.
“I’ve improved the enclosure and security in the garden with new fence panels and gate and I already have CCTV to keep a closer eye on them, so hopefully their days of exploring all Hucknall has to offer are now over and they can sit back and enjoy their home comforts.”