Do skunks jump?

Skunks are unique animals that can do many things to survive. Most of the time, predators are weary to even come close to these small animals as their spray can render even the most powerful predator inactive. Although their brightly colored white and black fur attracts them to the predator, they usually have a strong defense in place. Their spray affords them the little window of opportunity to escape while the predator is getting itself back in order.

Many animals jump over tall structures while running away from predators and while trying to enter different areas. Skunks, however, have less of a need to jump over structures and obstacles as they are quick diggers and can get underground instead of going above. They also have less of a need to jump when attacked by predators because their defense mechanism buys them little time to escape. The skunk has strong claws and hind legs but they are better adapted for digging and not jumping or climbing.

So, in a nutshell, skunks are terrible at jumping. This does not mean they won't jump if their survival depends on it though. Skunks have been spotted jumping over wooden piles and porches. While they are not Olympic medal jumpers and they cannot even jump very high, they make do. Skunks have been known to jump 3 feet high.

What this means for fence owners
Having a fence around your property is quite effective at keeping skunks away. The fence does not even have to be a tall one as skunks are terrible jumpers. A 5 to 7-foot-tall fence will do the job of keeping skunks away. You then only have to worry about the digging as they will most likely go under the fence rather than go over it. Therefore, when building a fence, make sure that the foundation of the fence is at least 6 inches deep into the ground as skunks can burrow deep and use the tunnels to get into your property. When constructing a fence, bear in mind that steel fences are preferable to wire mesh fences. This is because the skunks can still grip and climb a wire fence wall if they need to. Wooden fences also won't do any good in this regard as they have powerful claws that can tear wooden fences apart.

What if a skunk is trapped in a high place?
Animals, like cats, when trapped in a high place will just jump down and find their way. Skunks are however not wired this way as they will prefer to climb down instead of jumping. This means that if a skunk is trapped on your property after you have installed a fence, it will remain trapped there and not attempt to jump over the fence. It may try to dig under it but jumping over it will not be one of its first reactions. If you have a fence up but there are still skunks trapped on your property, you may have to call in a professional to have them removed as they won't be able to leave on their own.

To ensure that you do not make the mistake of leaving a skunk trapped on your property, do proper research on their breeding patterns, lifestyle, and behavior. Also ensure that there are no skunks waiting out the winter in a hidden spot on your property. It is preferable to put up a fence after the breeding season to avoid accidentally fencing in a skunk and its babies. All in all, ensure that your fence is sturdy and strong, because if skunks cannot jump over it, they will look for other ways to gain entry.

Go back to the Franklin County wildlife removal home page.