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  • Columbia Educational Article of the Month - Is it safe to handle a Skunk with bare hands?

Is it safe to handle a Skunk with bare hands?

Is it safe to handle a Skunk with bare hands?

Animal rehabilitators will recommend that animals such as South Carolina skunks be transferred through cardboard boxes if they cannot be transferred through cages. Injured wildlife animals such as skunk poses some dangers to humans, first of all , touching a dead skunk can expose you to rabies and some other infections associated with skunks and other animals susceptible to rabies infections. The saliva, blood or any neutral tissue from a dead Columbia skunk can transmit infections such as rabies or bacteria to humans , especially when you have bruises or wounds in your hands.

Expert South Carolina wildlife rehabilitators have warned that it is often impossible to tell whether a skunk carries symptoms of rabies whether it is alive or dead, and for this reason, wearing a protective glove is very essential when handling such animals. The only way to be sure that a skunk is suffering from rabies is when you perform a test on its brain in a laboratory, but if the skunk is still alive, that may be almost impossible except you capture it . While dead Columbia skunks may have rabies infection in their blood, and saliva, live skunks can transmit the disease through scratches and bites.

Wild and stray skunks should be given their space, and under any circumstance should you touch them with bare hands. In the year 2014 alone, there were 139 cases of rabies confirmed in the state of South Carolina, United States of America, and out of `these, more than 50% of affected individuals barely touched live skunks. Laboratory tests confirmed that the rabies infections were mostly transfer through saliva, blood and some neutral tissues of the Columbia animals.

If you raise skunks as pets, it is ideal to get yourself tested at least once in every 6 months in a year because some symptoms of rabies infection appear late , and some Columbia skunks do not show signs they are infected. Any stray skunk, whether small or old should not be handled with bare hands. Some skunks often move away from their dens when they can no longer cope with the effect of rabies and some other infections in their blood streams.

In addition to wearing protective gloves, it is ideal to keep stray animals caught in traps , in a convenient box or cage when they are caught. When you feed a stray skunk, make sure you protect your skin from any possible aggressive behaviour and never feed the skunk until it is taken to South Carolina animal rehabilitator.

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