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Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Have you ever developed a wary friendship with a wild animal?

Asked by Nomore_Tantrums (4451points) August 7th, 2022

Details below. In reference to my new skunk pal, Big Nasty.

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25 Answers

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

I have had a big skunk paying me visits on my part time security job. I felt sorry for the bastard and started tossing leftovers of my lunch out to him. He will saunter over to my car, eat and leave. So far he hasn’t sprayed me. We have a gentlemen’s agreement I guess. Don’t send me home smelling like road kill and I won’t blow you away with my semi auto I take to work for self defence. So far so good. I call him Big Nasty.

RayaHope's avatar

There was a wild (feral) cat that started coming around our house and I tried to make friends with him. He was a pretty black and white cat about a year or so old (at least he looked young to me). At first, I put out a little food and go inside and watch for him to come up to the porch and eat it. Then I would put the food closer to the door and watch him come closer. This took a few weeks, but finally, I would hold the food in my hand and he actually (after a little coaxing) eat it right out of my hand. He did this a couple of times but sadly he stopped coming around. I fear that someone caught him or worse. To this day I still have not seen him again :(

HP's avatar

You know, your turn is coming. And it may have nothing to do with you. Eventually SOMETHING will disturb it when its fetching the treats, and you will get just what you might expect.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. I feed the squirrels in my yard and have had them get peanuts right out of my hand.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Probably true. Guess I’ll have suck it up, could never bring myself to harm him. @HP

kritiper's avatar

When about to spray, a skunk will, at first, stomp it’s front feet before turning around to possibly spray you. If he/she isn’t stomping when you feed it, you have very little to worry about.

HP's avatar

The neighborhood cats have reached the worrying stage when it comes to the back deck. I went out today and there must have 8 – 10 of them sunning themselves. And get this—only half of them up and scattered, the remaining 4 sat up and paid attention with that “you again” gaze. I moved slowly toward them and they all matched my slow pace retreating down the stairs. Suddenly, 2 more darted out from under the tarp covering the grill and raced past the
4 down the stairs. This is troubling. I’ve never seen cats congregate like this. And I can’t determine if and who might be feral. I was thinking that perhaps they are litter mates. The wife suspects someone’s in heat. So, I guess, I’ll give the SPCA a call. At minimum those guys gotta be fixed.

RayaHope's avatar

@HP Yes spaying and neutering is the best way to deal with an overabundance of feral cats. Please don’t hurt them.

HP's avatar

I have a “have a heart” trap I used for the raccoons before the city chopped down their trees. They used to be the neighborhood gangsters. I wonder where they went. Back in the old days, I could easily catch a few a week. One morning, I found 2 crammed into the thing. I have no plans (yet) to begin trapping the cats. First, I’ll let the city and SPCA deal with em. The city will spay or neuter them if necessary and hold them for a few days in case they have owners. If the owner shows up, he/she must pay a ransom to cover the neutering fees. Otherwise the cats are returned to their stomping grounds (more or less).

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Skunks actually….make awesome pets. I have known people with pet skunks (de-glanded by a vet under the table) and they’re affectionate. We have skunks that live nearby and I keep them in line with a deterrent around our house but I like them in our yard because they eat bad critters like ticks.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

@Blackwater_Park True, my brother and I had one growing up. Don’t believe Big Nasty will for that though. Not pressing my luck ; )

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Nomore_Tantrums I’m also trying to befriend the massive population of crows we have. They don’t fully trust me yet but I’m working on it.

smudges's avatar

When I was a kid I collected toads and frogs. Not one ever gummed me with its toothless little mouth. >8^)

Zaku's avatar

Yes, by feeding them and/or providing shelter. e.g. Hummingbirds, crows, ducks, other birds, deer.

raum's avatar

In college, I’d often eat dinner on the front steps of the porch (of a large house where I rented a room).

There was a raccoon that would come over and sit next to me. I’d hand him half my sandwich and we’d just eat together in silence. It was kind of nice.

I often think of him when I see other raccoons. Hope he had a good raccoon life.

JLeslie's avatar

The closest I’ve come is the dear who loved to rest on our lawn during the summer when I lived in TN. It’s the fawn specifically; they would go to the shady area of our lawn in the late afternoon and rest for an hour. We never walked up to them, but even if they saw us they wouldn’t run. I think they had to be taught to be afraid of humans. The babies didn’t seem afraid at all.

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper we had squirrels when I was a kid. Mom started leaving peanut butter out for them, or peanuts. Eventually they would take a peanut from her hand. And if she wasn’t out, they would jump up on the screen door and knock with their tails. Smart little critters.

seawulf575's avatar

It’s not really a friendship, but we currently have a big black snake living on our patio. It was in the metal plate at the door way, but got too big to get in there. It hangs around, keeps down the frog/lizard/rodent population and we just get the occasional pic of it as it poses for us.

cookieman's avatar

Absolutely. Fat Squirrel (FS for short) and her family live in the trees above my driveway.

Long time ago, she chewed a baseball-sized-hole in the top of my barrel and now treats it as their personal buffet throughout the week, leading up to trash day.

Our deal is that FS can partake of our yummy food trash as much as they’d like, so long as they don’t make a mess (outside of the barrel).

When they have, I yell at them and duct tape the hole shut — which they can easily chew through again, but she’s gotten the hint…

and, quite a bit fatter.

all about that trash, that trash
fat squirrel

KRD's avatar

I have friendships with all the rabbits here. I also have a bobcat friend that I don’t interact with but it is nice watching him. But as long as he leaves our chickens alone then he is good in my books.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I just sealed out some bats from our window sills but I did put up a plush bat box for them. My wife named all of them but their poo started building up and that’s not healthy, so we had to do something.

KRD's avatar

I need to build a bat box^.

seawulf575's avatar

Years ago during my first marriage, we sort of did a reversal of the wild animal thing. We ended up with a baby red fox that was so small I could hold it in one hand. We lived out in the middle of nowhere so we didn’t have to worry about neighbors. We had this little girl for a couple years. I can honestly say she was incredibly smart and loving, but she was still wild. She loved to play with the dogs and with the kids. But foxes are mainly nocturnal. So she wanted to play all night every night. Not to mention fox pee smells worse than a skunk. She finally got out and found a mate of her own. So she was sort of domestic going back to wild.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Great experience @seawulf575 Thanks for posting.

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