Smelly stowaway causes stink in Canada

A California skunk that hitched a ride aboard a commercial truck to Canada this month is causing a stink, unable to find safe passage back home.

The 1,8kg female travelled nearly 5 000km in five days without food or water in a sealed container, arriving slightly dehydrated but otherwise unharmed, the National Post newspaper said.

Canadian wildlife authorities believe it fell asleep in a large rubber pipe that was loaded on to the big rig in Torrance, California, in late December.

But they have been unable to arrange a return trip for the critter because airlines and trucking firms are concerned it may get spooked en route and release a torrent of stench.

”We can’t carry it unless its [scent] glands are removed. Otherwise, it will stink up the luggage hold,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said.

Nathalie Karvonen of the Toronto Wildlife Centre, which has provided the skunk a temporary home, told the Canadian newspaper it would be illegal to release a foreign species in Canada.

Anyhow, it would probably die in a scrap with its bigger Canadian cousins if released here, she added, explaining that skunks are very territorial.

And, euthanising a healthy animal is not an option, she insisted. — Sapa-AFP

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