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Photo Gallery by Stu & Doris - The Dangerous Intruder
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The Dangerous Intruder

An armed and dangerous intruder was living under our house for four days! While small in stature, this intruder had the capability of making our house uninhabitable for many months. Therefore, we did not want to do anything to upset our uninvited guest.

It all started on Sunday, June 8, 2008. Doris and I were watching TV in the family room. My wife said, “Pause the program, I hear a strange sound.” Sure enough, something was scratching at the metal duct of our floor register. Since we did not know exactly what type of animal was making the noises, I decided to wait until the next morning to investigate. Monday morning I went under the house and discovered that many of the tools I was using on my project (I have been wiring the entire house for gigabit ethernet) were moved and that they had dusty footprints all over them. Upon further investigation I discovered some skat, which I packaged up as evidence. From its appearance, I knew we were not dealing with a rat -- for one thing, it liked to eat berries -- but I was not sure what the animal was.

On Monday night we heard more sounds from underneath the house. The next morning´s investigation yielded more evidence. In addition to new footprints and moved tools, I found five hairs. They were about six inches in length and were black and white in color. Oops, now I was quite sure we had a skunk under the house! Since it did not smell like a skunk under the house, he must have felt secure.

On Tuesday evening, when we were hearing the noises again, I went outside, tied a long string to the crawlspace door handle, and unlocked the padlock. I got back about 30 feet (upwind) and pulled the door open. I waited for about 30 minutes, but no skunk emerged. I finally decided to have a look inside. I approached very cautiously and poked my head inside. Since it was very dark, I decided to turn on some lights. When I did that, I heard a noise from the network cabinet that I had been working on. I turned my head in that direction and to my surprise, I spotted the skunk on TOP of the cabinet about 18 inches away. I cautiously moved to a vantage point about five feet away where I could keep an eye on the skunk without making him too nervous. I stayed under the house for about 45 minutes. The skunk showed no sign of moving. I then went into the house for about an hour, leaving the door to the crawlspace open. A quick check through one of the air vents an hour later revealed that the skunk had still not moved. I turned out the lights and shut the door.

On Wednesday I purchased an infrared CCTV camera. We had been planning on buying the camera for other uses, but our resident skunk acted as a catalyst. I installed the new camera under the house and hooked it up to a DVR. That evening we were amazed by the antics the skunk went through attempting to find an exit. I went out again and opened the door with the string when I knew that the skunk was on the door sill. Voilà, the skunk was free and I got to lock the door after he wandered off! In the future I will not leave the door open when I am working under the house.

Here are some still photos captured from the video that we have of the skunk.

Doris and Stuart Baker

Long Drop
Skunk dropping from the top of the network cabinet, a distance of about four and one half feet.
 
High Minded
Skunk attempting escape through the screen of the air vent. I never knew that they could climb that well.
 
Insulation Inspector
High minded skunk investigating entry into the house through a heating duct.
 
Oops
Skunk starting long fall after miscalculating its ability to hang onto the wires.
 
One Step to Freedom
Skunk on the door sill about to make its great escape after a long ordeal for all of us.

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Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional
The images in these galleries are copyright © by the photographers who took them. Please do not use them without their permission.
Web Designed by: Stuart Baker Software - www.sbsw.com.