Western Spotted Skunks are not often seen.

Nocturnal Western Spotted Skunks are the smaller cousins of the ubiquitous Stripped Skunk. Some people call them Civet Cats, but that is incorrect. In ten years of doing my column in the Independent Coast Observer, this is only the third photo of one that has been sent in. Shannon Hughes was the lucky photographer.

Western Spotted Skunk by Shannon Hughes

The evening had been warm. This little skunk entered Shannon's home and wandered around for a bit. Like the bigger Stripped Skunk, it can spray. But this little one just ambled back out, most likely looking for its favorite food - insects, mice and berries.

One other photo was taken by John Bower a few years ago. A Spotted Skunk was trapped in a garbage can. Looking at this photo, I now wonder if this was a young one.

Spotted Skunk by John Bower

The white patch on its face between the eyes is distinctive to this species of skunk.

Thanks to Shannon and John for allowing me to share their photos with you here.

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