The Threat Dance
One decent thing though, is the skunk does a kind of war dance before he lets go his powerful musk weapon. He will:
- Stomp his feet
- Arch his back
- Paw the ground
- Hiss, and clack his teeth
- Raise his tail
- Stand on front paws and then…
…the skunk carves his body into a U-shape—where both head and tail can challenge his foe. Skunk will aim for the enemies’ face and the spray can go about fifteen feet (4.5 meters). The yellowy odoriferous oil can be sprayed in a straight stream or in a mist. He is actually squeezing his hip muscles to force the glands to expel the musk, something he has no problem doing.
Generally, the spray is reserved for these enemies: the dogs, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, badgers and birds of prey like owls and eagles. Be aware, a skunk will spray when they feel afraid or threatened.
The skunky fluid stings the eyes, burns the skin and is just generally terrible to get rid of—it lasts and lasts—better to stay away, so caution.
The secretion is a yellow oil that sticks to most surfaces. The spray contains up to seven compounds called thiols or thioacetates, which bind quickly and powerfully to the skin. Water makes these compounds even more pungent.