Well-meaning home owners often relocate skunks because they’re bothered by occasional whiffs of musk. It may seem like relocating an animal is a humane form of pest control, but it’s unfortunately not. Every year, thousands of mother skunks are taken away from their babies, who are left to die brutal, painful deaths by starvation. Skunks are extremely sensitive animals and doting mothers, so this separation is also very traumatic for the adult.
The mama skunk isn’t likely to make it, either. A skunk relocated to unfamiliar territory, particularly during breeding season, is likely to die of exposure or starvation, or to be killed by rivals. She may also spread or catch diseases, some as serious as rabies, without showing any obvious symptoms.
Because of this, many states including Tennessee have laws prohibiting the capture and release of skunks anywhere besides the property where they were found. Please see the coexisting section of our website for tips on humanely repelling nuisance wildlife.