For 2nd time this year, skunk captured in the islands - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

For 2nd time this year, skunk captured in the islands

A skunk was captured in Kahului last week. (Image: State Department of Agriculture) A skunk was captured in Kahului last week. (Image: State Department of Agriculture)
KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Workers at a Maui trucking company discovered a skunk in a container last week, the second skunk captured in Hawaii in recent months.

State Agriculture Department officials say the skunk was hiding out in a container of ceramic tiles in Kahului. Before spotting the creature, workers spelled a foul odor and saw a critter in the container.

State inspectors set out traps and the skunk was caught Friday morning.

The creature has been identified as a striped skunk, weighing about five pounds. It was sent to Oahu on Tuesday and will be tested for rabies.

“We appreciate the quick reaction of the trucking crew in containing the animal and contacting HDOA inspectors,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, acting chairwoman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, in a news release. “Had the animal escaped from the container, it would have been a much larger problem and we are grateful for their awareness and cooperation.”

The last time a live skunk was captured in Hawaii was in February at Honolulu Harbor. The state said that capture was the first ever recorded of a live skunk in the islands. 

Skunks are prohibited in Hawaii and are only allowed by permit for research and exhibition in a municipal zoo.

They are one of the four wild animals considered to be the primary carriers of the rabies virus, a fatal viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.

Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. and one of the few places in the world that is rabies free.

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