In an attempt to woo skunks of the opposite sex, Pepe le Pew has dyed
his hair white.
That's just one possible explaination for the mostly white critter
spotted Ñ or, striped, if you will Ñ waddling on Fred Jones lawn in
"It's really quite amazing because it doesn't look like any of
the other skunks. It's so different," says Jones, who lives on
"It looks just like an Angora cat. The fur is so beautiful."
Though his wife saw the skunk several times over the summer, it wasn't
until one evening, while Jones was on the computer, that his wife
called him to take a look at something on the lawn.
It was a skunk, almost completely white with a black stripe and black
"I thought I had to get a picture of it, so I rushed to put a
film in my camera. "
Sneaking outside, Jones took one photograph of the skunk. Before he
could snap another, the tail raised and Jones thought the skunk might
But it didn't.
And so Jones captured a picture of the animal, one that appeared in
the Charlottetown Guardian. "That really doesn't do him justice
because when you see him in his other dress, you hardly see any black
When the skunk is crouched on the lawn, lit by streetlights, its tail
up, its fur raised, Jones says it looks mostly white. You miss the
black stripe and black legs.
"It's just gorgeous," he says.
Biologist Randy Dibblee hasn't seen pictures of the animal and can't
comment on this specific skunk, but says colour can vary between animals.
Skunks and raccoons were first brought to the Island in the early
1900s by fur farmers who tried to breed all-black skunks for the fur
"The ones we have here now have reverted to the wild type,"
"A lot of people laugh at skunks being a furbearing animal, but
back in the late 1800s, some of the records that I've seen from the
Hudson Bay Company have the striped skunk down as being an extremly
valuable animal. Their pelt was highly valued for the fur trade, so
that was the rationale about bringing them here in the first place."
Mother Nature could be playing a role in the distinctive skunk. It's
possible to have all-black animals or albinos. A black stripe on the
Montague skunk Dibblee says, suggests it probably isn't an albino.
So there's one burning question Ñ is the odour of a white skunk like
that of a black skunk?
"I would suspect that their musk glands would still pee,"
Jones reports he hasn't smelled any skunky perfumes from his occasional
visitor, but he doesn't aim to tempt fate by getting it to spray.
Before the critter beds down for the winter, he hopes to get another
picture of the yet-unnamed skunk, a veritable celebrity in Montague
after being highlighted in the local media.
"Since then, I don't know of anybody that has seen it. Everybody's
looking for it, but nobody seems to have seen it," says Jones.
"We would like to get a picture of it in it's true glory."