A cat-sized mammal with a prominent long-haired tail. The fur is black, usually with a white stripe running down the head and dividing to become two stripes on each side of the body. Often smelled before they are seen, skunks produce an obnoxious scent upon provocation. This disagreeable musk is secreted by glands at the base of the tail and can be aimed and sprayed at will. Prior to spraying, skunks usually warn intruders by stamping their feet and holding the tail high in the air.
Eastern Spotted Skunk
There are two species of skunks in Missouri, the more familiar striped skunk and the lesser-known spotted skunk. The spotted skunk has been declining drastically in recent years because of habitat loss.