Meet the Four Species of Skunks You Might Run Into in Colorado
Skunks have an interesting reputation. If you've ever come across a skunk, there's a chance it wasn't the nicest of wildlife encounters. Pet owners sometimes have to deal with a skunk spraying their dog or cat and subsequently subjecting them to a tomato juice bath, and the striped creature is also often found rummaging through the trash.
However, did you know that there are four, very distinct species of skunks that call Colorado home? Keep scrolling to learn about all of them.
Colorado Skunks: The Striped Skunk
The striped skunk, also known as Mephitis mephitis, is by far the most common skunk species in Colorado. These skunks are about the same size as your average housecat and have a white v-shaped stripe that runs from their neck all the way to their tails.
Colorado Skunks: The American Hog-Nosed Skunk
Next, we have the American hog-nosed skunk or the Conepatus leuconotus. These skunks are typically found in southeastern Colorado and are distinguishable by their upturned nose that resembles that of a pig.
Colorado Skunks: The Eastern Spotted Skunk
Another skunk that you may find in Colorado is the eastern spotted skunk or the Spilogale putorius. These skunks are not terribly common in the state but can be found on the Western Slope in canyons and foothill areas. They're distinguishable by broad white stripes and a white-tipped tail.
Colorado Skunks: The Western Spotted Skunk
Finally, the last skunk that you may run across in Colorado is the western spotted skunk or the Spilogale gracilis. Like the eastern spotted skunk, this skunk has broad, white stripes along its back along with a white spot on its forehead.
While neither spotted skunk is very common in Colorado, they are known to be more skittish than the others and release a more pungent odor upon spraying.