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 Skunks also are not seen just in rural areas any longer, adapting to be comfortable in more populated areas such as in subdivisionsSkunks also are not seen just in rural areas any longer, adapting to be comfortable in more populated areas such as in subdivisions


(Date: 01-30-2017) --An influx of skunks have invaded the area in the name of love.

Between dusk and dawn, the pungent mammal often is seen in yards, near overflowing garbage cans and attempting to cross roadways. Amy Aldenderfer, Hardin County Extension agent for horticulture, said there is a reason: Mating season for skunks runs from February through April.

“The seasons have shifted a little bit,” she said, meaning the recent warm weather has brought them out of their torpor.

Hardin and neighboring counties are home to striped and spotted varieties. Black skunks featuring a white stripe from nose to tail typically is seen.

Colder temperatures will cause a skunk’s metabolism to slow down, but not necessarily go into a state of hibernation like bears, Aldenderfer said.

“(It’s) kind of like what humans do in January when we don’t have any energy,” she said.

Skunks also are not seen just in rural areas any longer, adapting to be comfortable in more populated areas such as in subdivisions, she said.

Feeding mostly on insects — grubs, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and the like — Aldenderfer said skunks tend not to bother garbage cans.

If trash is left lying on the ground, however, a skunk will find it, she said.

Aldenderfer said her office receives skunk calls.

“Oh my gosh, my whole turf has been rooted up by something,” she said, mimicking a typical caller.

When Aldenderfer goes to investigate, she often determines the culprit is a skunk.

“Skunks will dig with their front feet to dig up the grubs,” she said. “It looks like somebody took a roto-tiller that’s only 4 inches wide and roughed up the grass.”

Situations such as this means skunks are looking for food.

The Extension agent does not recommend attempting to catch a skunk and transporting it to another area. There is a risk of getting sprayed by the animal, she said.

Trapping a skunk, delivering it and releasing it in a wooded area miles away also can set it up for possible death, Aldenderfer said.

She said the skunk would be in unfamiliar territory and not know where food or water sources could be.

“It’s like taking a human and sitting them out in the middle of the Arctic and saying, ‘OK, survive,’” Aldenderfer said. “‘I don’t want you where you are, so survive somewhere else.’”

Skunks are capable of nesting, or “denning,” beneath porches, decks, sheds and crawl spaces, she said. Brush piles, trash piles and tree stumps also provide shelter for a skunk preparing to have their young, called kits.

Aldenderfer said skunk sightings will be more frequent during the early-morning and evening hours until mating season has ended.

By Greg Thompson
The News-Enterprise



16 Animals Scientists Want to Bring Back from Extinction

Mastadon coming back?Mastadon coming back?

Since the beginning of time, animals have gone extinct on Earth for many different reasons, such as a dramatic climate shifts, natural disasters, or human intervention. For decades, the notion of “de-extinction”—or the resurrection of an already extinct animal— has hovered on the scientific fringes. Now, new advances in science and genetic engineering could enable scientists to bring some of these animals “back” from extinction. Here are some of the candidate species scientists are currently considering for de-extinction.



Court reinstates 100 animal cruelty charges against LaRue woman

Jane Embry 111Jane Embry 111Date: 01-19-2017-- After having her charges dropped in court because she was believed to be dead, Jane Embry of Magnolia now has more than 100 cruelty to animal charges reinstated.

As a result of the confusion, Embry’s case was reviewed earlier this month in LaRue District Court. She was in court that morning while other cases were being reviewed, but she was not present when her case was heard. Embry’s lawyer, Robert Fredrick Smith of Louisville, also was not present in court.

County Attorney Kyle Williamson made a motion to reinstate all the charges against Embry. He said he also had a voicemail from Smith saying he could not attend court that day, but he agreed with reinstating the charges and with scheduling a trial date as long as it was a date Embry had time to recuperate from her illnesses.

Reed granted the motion to reinstate the charges and set a pretrial date for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 1.

Embry is charged with 102 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals and one count of harboring a vicious animal. She was scheduled to appear for trial Dec. 7 and the charges were dismissed after she was believed to have died.

The charges stem from Dec. 8, 2015, when officials rescued 102 animals at her residence. According to the arrest citation, 13 animals were euthanized on site because of illness and aggressiveness. Several other cats also were found dead in a freezer inside the home.

After learning the information provided to the court was not accurate and that Embry was a patient at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. District Judge C. Derek Reed said the charges against Embry are not dismissed and a trial at a later date in Elizabethtown that is convenient for all the attorneys, witnesses and others who are involved. He said it also will be at a date when Embry can be present and has had time to “recuperate.”

HMH officials confirmed Dec. 13, 2016, that Embry is no longer a patient at the hospital.

By Doug Ponder
News Enterprise