Without question, striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are best known for their remarkable defense systems.
Glands under the tail produce an oily, sulfurous fluid a skunk can accurately spray up to 10 feet, temporarily disabling potential attackers and allowing the skunk to escape. It can take over a week to replenish the chemical once it’s depleted, so a skunk will usually try to ward off threats first by hissing, stamping its feet and making threatening postures. Those telltale black and white stripes likely discourage many would-be attackers from approaching in the first place.
Skunks are considered “opportunistic feeders,” which means they’ll eat just about anything they can find, including insects, grubs, mice, moles, young cottontails, berries and other vegetation, eggs, garbage, and pet food.