Newborn skunks have very little hair covering their soft pink skin, but they soon grow distinct coats of jet black fur striped or spotted with white. Young skunks look like smaller adults with stocky bodies, stumpy legs, and bushy tails. They learn from their mothers how to find berries or dig in the soil for insects using their sharp claws.
Can Baby Skunks Spray?
Baby skunks learn how to use their defensive stink spray within the first few weeks of life. The musky spray, produced by their anal glands, is malodorous and capable of blinding predators when sprayed at close distances. Due to the potent negative effects of their defense mechanism, skunks have few natural predators.
Skunks reach sexual maturity within their first year of life and mate in the spring. Gestation periods typically last about 60 days, allowing baby skunks to be born in the summertime when food supplies are plentiful. Newborns come into the world blind and helpless, weighing just over one ounce. Mothers typically give birth to a litter of three to eight young that stay close to her for about three months until they are weaned. Young males are driven away from the home burrow by dominant adult males as soon as they are able to fend for themselves. Wild skunks do not typically live longer than five years.