Three young ladies save skunk with head trapped in a jar

15 July 2011

FORT KENT - Three young women who work at Forest Hill Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center in Fort Kent Maine found the courage and ingenuity to free a wild skunk that had managed trap its own head in a peanut butter jar.

When her father brought Lori Levesque, a feeding assistant at the center, to work on Friday morning around 6 a.m., she noticed an animal by the gazebo near the parking lot.

"I thought it was a cat," said Levesque.

Her father told her, "No, that's a skunk."

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Levesque said it was a rather sizeable skunk.  "It was huge."

However the unfortunate odoriferous creature had managed to ram its head into a jar of peanut butter and now it couldn't get loose. The skunk was bumbling around the lot, crashing into different objects.

She said, "It was bumping into the gazebo and the flowerpot."

Lori's father called the Fort Kent police.  He told the dispatcher that he hates skunks, but someone has to come out and take care of it, because it is suffering.

Lori recalled. "They told him to put something on top of it so the skunk doesn't spray him and pull off the jar.

"My father told the cops he had to go to work."

After Lori's father left, a Forest Hill coworker, Ashley Hansen, a certified nursing assistant, arrived and Lori showed her the pitiful (yet stinky) creature.

Ashley said, "I can't stand to see the skunk suffer."

The women went inside, where a third rescuer, dietary aide Jamie Belanger, joined them.  The three women collected yellow gowns, rubber gloves and a big cardboard box.  They tore the top and bottom off of the box, put on the gloves and gowns and returned to the parking lot.

"We took out the box and threw it on top of the skunk."  The three ladies held onto the box so the skunk couldn't escape.

Now was the moment of truth, the point where one of the women would have show her brave heart to step forward to rescue the trapped skunk.  Laurie said, "Ashley told me to grab the jar."

"I reached in the box to grab the jar.  When I lift up the jar, the skunk came up with it."  She said the skunk looked like it was about to spray them, and she dropped the skunk back in the box.

Jamie came up to the box, grabbed the jar and yanked hard enough that the skunk's head popped out.

Lorui said, "He lifted up his butt a couple of times, and we backed off, but he never sprayed us."

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"We picked up the box and let it go," said Lori.  The skunk ran to the edge of the lot and into the woods.

Lori said they weren't really afraid, though everyone else was frightened.  She said, "We were calmer than anything."

The rescue impressed her co-workers.  She said, "They were laughing about the whole thing, and that we were pretty brave to do it, because they couldn't do it."

"My father is a big guy," she commented, "and he was afraid to do it.

"I was, like, three small girls...man."