Nature center’s skunk officially a Californian

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventSwift said that Ferguson’s new role as spokesanimal for wildlife preservation will help reinforce the state’s position of respecting wild animals. “They have long claws and they dig and dig and dig,” he continued, splaying Ferguson’s feet wide with his fingertip. “They could wreak havoc on a yard.” The skunk has been checked over for any problems and has had his scent glands removed, Swift said. When he’s not putting on a show, Ferguson has a comfortable shaded enclosure with a fleece blanket, water pan, a cinder block on which to sharpen his nails and a “behavioral enrichment” box filled with sawdust and sand so he can dig up crickets and mealworms, just like he would do in the wild. In the meantime, the young skunk enjoys a diet of kibble, lettuce, bananas, mealworms, carrots, apples and bugs. NEWHALL – Ferguson the Skunk, a resident of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center for the last year, is finally a certified Californian, having passed a battery of screenings and tests just in time for the center’s open house on Saturday. He came to the center last spring, after a Texas family moving to Santa Clarita gave him to a wildlife rescue group. In Texas, skunks are legal pets; in California, they are not. “He was a little black ball of fur when they got him,” said Ian Swift, superintendent of the center, as he cuddled the black-and-white striped animal. “But skunks have the highest rate of rabies among all the wild animals. “People have to remember that they are wild animals and react that way, unlike dogs or cats, which are bred over thousands of years to become domesticated and somewhat goofy.” Along with Ferguson, several other celebrity residents of the center will be on display, including OJ, the center’s 22-year-old horned owl and a 12-foot-long Burmese python. The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and also features panning for “gold,” nature art, rubber ducky races and other family activities. Admission to the open house is free. The Placerita Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road. Off-site parking is available with a shuttle to the park. For information, call (661) 259-7721. (661)257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more