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Chicago suburb seeks help catching skunks

Oct. 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM   |   Comments

DES PLAINES, Ill., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A Chicago suburb is tired of skunk stink and plans to rely more on an outside company to catch the animals, officials say.

Des Plaines, Ill., officials say the number of calls about the animals has increased while the number of trappings has nearly doubled, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"We're inundated with people (calling) with skunks and their pets being sprayed," said Tex Bullock, support services manager for the police department, which oversees animal control.

Skunks "are digging in the foundation near the front steps of homes and sheds," Bullock said.

The influx of skunks has overwhelmed the city's one-person animal-control department, the Tribune said.

The number of skunks trapped has risen to 100 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 20, compared with 51 during the same period last year, says BC Wildlife, an Arlington Heights wildlife-control company that works with the city.

The number of skunks trapped has risen across the northwest Chicago suburbs.

More than 715 were captured the first 10 months of this year, compared with 563 a year ago, said Rebecca Fyffe, a wildlife educator with ABC Wildlife, which covers five counties.

She said the increase can be attributed in part to more beetle grubs in the soil from increased rainfall this year and a decline in rabies and distemper among wildlife.

Des Plaines officials say skunk traps will remain free for residents.

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