Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

Striped Skunk
Mephitis mephitis

  • Habitat: Forests, coastal swamps, deserts and scrubland
  • Range: Across North America (Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A)
  • Natural Diet: Insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, and crustaceans
  • Status in the Wild: Common


Fun Facts

  • Striped skunks are habitat generalists
  • They have an excellent defense strategies against predators; they  spray a foul smelling liquid that can cause temporary blindness
  • Another defense mechanism is stomping their feet and arching their backs and lifting their tails
  • They are nocturnal and fossorial by nature
  • Their black and white coat color of help them camouflage from their predators


Striped skunks live in a diversity of habitat types in the U.S and Canada from thick forests to chaparral regions

Conservation Threats

The major threats are:

  • Habitat loss, agricultural practices, and pollution through chemicals used in agricultural fields and in forests.
  • Illegal hunting and trapping also can have a detrimental influence on their numbers in the wild

What happens when you startle a skunk? They stomp their feet, arch their backs, and lift their tail to look bigger.


The skunk is provided with dens in which, he rests during the day

The skunk is given an opportunity to dig  in his exhibit

Map Distributional range - Striped skunks are found throughout North America