Joliet Skunk Population Reaches "Epidemic Proportions"

State's skunk population has doubled over the past few years, DNR says

Friday, Aug 19, 2011  |  Updated 10:23 PM CDT
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In Joliet, residents say the population has reached

In Joliet, residents say the population has reached "epidemic proportions."

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Skunks are stinking up parts of Joliet.

"We have reached epidemic proportions of skunks," resident Doren Swanson told the Joliet City Council at its meeting earlier this week.

Council members agreed with her, sharing their own skunk tales.

Mayor Thomas Giarrante said one of his neighbors mentioned skunks in their subdivision.

"He said he saw an adult skunk and seven young ones walk right across their patio," Giarrante said.

Then councilman-at-large Don Fisher chimed in: "Our dog was sprayed a month ago," he said.

The Joliet Township Animal Control Center provides trap rentals at $50 for five days. They'll pick up any animals that are caught.

"It's a very simple trap, and they can set it themselves," Animal Control Director Sarah Gimbel said.

Leon Bilbrew, a licensed skunk trapper with Ace In a Hole Wild Animal Control in Joliet, said he hasn't had a busier year in eight years. There should be double the trappings this year, at least 120, he said.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the state's skunk population has doubled over the past few years. Increases have often been in the double digits over the last decade, the department said.

A complete list of licensed trappers, searchable by county, can be found on the website for the University of Illinois Extension.

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