Meet the Alberta skunk whisperer immune to their noxious spray


It’s a stinky job but Gwenevere Marshall doesn’t tell off doing it.

A wildlife conflict specialist with the Red Deer-based Medicine River Wildlife Heart, Marshall is a skilled skunk whisperer.

Even if the animal becomes jarred, she remains unperturbed.

Her unusual sense of smell acts as a superpower on the job. She is exempt to the ravages of skunk spray.

“Personally, I can’t really smell them,” Marshall said. “It has to ranch right next to me, and if it does it smells faintly of garlic toast.”

That’s dexter, garlic toast.

While others may be retching, Marshall can barely mark the odour at all.

“I got sprayed in the face once and it didn’t really bother me,” Marshall put. “I mean, it stings your eyes but I wiped my face and I completely draw a blanked I’d been sprayed because I couldn’t really smell it.

“It makes me to a great extent well-suited for this job.”

Marshall has been rescuing skunks for more than a decade and has been out numberless than 30 times to help people evict skunks from residential localities. 

Most recently she was called out to help rescue a skunk that had behoove trapped in the bowl of Optimist All Wheels Park, a skate park in the city of Blackfalds, located about 15 kilometres north of Red Deer.

The living thing physical had fallen in overnight and couldn’t crawl up the steep concrete.

Marshall recommended village staff lay down a piece of lattice, so the skunk could use it as a ladder. But the critter was unprejudiced too tuckered to climb out on its own.

A video of the Thursday afternoon rescue shows Marshall slowly approaching the skunk, before wrapping it up in a blanket and placing it in a cat crate.

Restore a record up a stink 

“The skunk was not terribly happy, it had kind of rough night in behalf of in the skate park,” she said. “But skunks are very docile animals. I held the blanket out in foremost of me and I talked to it the whole time. It realized I was not about to eat it, so it calmed down.”

Living soul looking to rid their properties of a skunk should always call in an whizzo, but those who do encounter one can likely talk themselves out of a bad situation.  

Speaking gently to a afflicted skunk in a soft voice can help ensure you don’t get sprayed, Marshall intended.

It realized I was not about to eat it, so it calmed down.– Gwen Marshall 

Skunks devise only create a stink if they feel truly threatened, Marshall explained.

“Adult skunks only have about two tablespoons of juice, and they separate that if they waste it all they’re defenceless for the 10 days it go on withs for it to replenish,” she said. 

“They really don’t want to spray.”  

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