Skunks invade a small New Mexico town
Hagerman, New Mexico, a small town in the state the southeast, has an annual visit of skunks and rattlesnakes who are looking for food.
Nature of the flow is not always in the form of snowstorms, and hurricanes. Sometimes it is a lot smaller, and can really stink.
Hagerman, New Mexico is currently dealing with an annual skunk invasion. The small black and white mephitidae ‘ s the cause of a big problem for the residents of this small city, which they have found, in alarming numbers, under their house and in their backyard.
While skunks are not often seen in Hagerman, because they are nocturnal, they can create horrible smells in houses and buildings where people are trying to sleep and work.
A smushed skunk on the side of the road in Hagerman, New Mexico. Many skunks can be found dead on the road as they walk around in the night and in traffic.
“It is very odorful, it is a rude awakening at times,” said Cathey Haley, a Hagerman resident has a skunk living under her house. “When a skunk let go under the house or directly under your bed, it makes for a very interesting night of sleep, or the lack thereof.”
Skunks were formerly rare in Hagerman, a town of about 1200 inhabitants. But now skunk carcasses of animals are spread all over the streets of the city. Drive down any street and there are one or two dead skunks on the roads. A street was sprinkled with four dead skunks.
“We found a bunch of dead on the road almost nightly now, in the spring and summer. In the winter not so much,” said Officer Adam Chavez of the Hagerman Police Department.
The skunks are a problem because the critters could bite pets and infect them with rabies.
Hagerman police have received eight calls for skunks so far this year, compared with only two last year. The police said that the issue normally arrives in the spring, but began in the late winter of this year, because the skunks are coming out of their inactive phase earlier.
The police traps to catch the skunks, and leave them outside the city. However, the traps did not work as planned this year. Until now, they’ve caught, 12 cats, four dogs and a domesticated rabbit – but no skunks.
The rattlesnake found on a school playground while the children were playing.
“It helps us to control our animals-on-a big problem,” said Hagerman police chief Rachelle Bateman.
There are loose and loose cats and dogs running around all over Hagerman. The police entered into a partnership with a local animal shelter to help the animals. Cats are spayed or neutered and moved, the dogs are given back to the owner or put up for adoption.
In addition to skunks, Hagerman is also home to many rattlesnakes, which roam in the city.
“If it is cold at night and warms up during the day, they tend to be on the tarmac to try and warm up,” said Chavez.
Last year, police received nine calls for the lethal reptile. One was found in the high school football field, another at the middle-school playground while the children were playing.
Chavez said for the safety of the officers and everyone around, they shoot the snakes.
“We do not have the equipment to catch them safely, so usually the rattlesnakes are destroyed on the site,” said Chavez.
Ray Bogan is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in El Paso, Texas. Follow him on twitter: @RayBogan