From the UK’s biggest skunk breeding ground, to a zoo and a school, the news this week has been full of scary stories.
It’s all part of the news cycle, says Simon Stroud, who has been running skunk farms since 1978.
“People have a lot of expectations about what we do,” he says.
“We have a very specific, narrow business that we have to manage and manage effectively.
It means that we are a lot more open and have a greater degree of accountability.”
When it comes to skunks, people expect everything from the size of the herd to the size and number of children it has.
It is not uncommon to find people taking in a skunks for free or in the hope that the animals will breed.
In recent years, the number of skunks breeding has grown rapidly, with numbers reaching the highest point since record-keeping began in 1967.
The number of breeding skunks in the UK has increased from 1,700 in 2009 to more than 1,900 this year, according to the latest figures from the UK Wildlife Trust.
The charity said it was aware of two people in their 20s who were arrested in August this year after they took a skink in for free.
One of them was arrested on suspicion of taking a skool for the purpose of breeding.
According to the trust, it takes time to breed and there are strict rules around the animals that must be followed, including no chasing, not allowing the animals to roam and not having any pets.
But, according the charity, there is no evidence that skunks are becoming more aggressive or aggressive in the wild.
“There’s a lot to be gained from breeding, and the biggest challenge is managing it properly,” says Stroud.
“It’s very, very difficult to keep a skunky in captivity.”
“It is not unusual to find someone taking in skunks [in] the hope of breeding” Simon Strewows.
He says he hopes to continue to manage his business and to keep skunks away from children and pets.
“I’m not going to give up the skunk business,” he adds.
“This is my passion and it’s a big part of my life.”
In the UK, the Skunk Trust runs a breeding programme at their farm in Londonderry, near Newcastle.
It has bred over 6,000 skunks since it opened in 2013.
“The majority of our skunks we have come across have been on farms in the US or in Germany, so it’s easy to come across them,” says Peter Loughlan, who runs the Skunks for Children programme.
We do need to look after them because they can be quite dangerous” The trust says it is responsible for managing the skunks at its farm and for taking care of them in the event of any issues, but that it is not always possible to get in touch with the animals. “
When you see them climbing toys or climbing trees or hanging out in a tree they are quite friendly.”
“But if we can’t get in contact with them, it’s important to have them in a secure environment.””
Sometimes it’s not possible to track them down because they’ve moved on and have been rehomed,” says Loughlans father, John.
“But if we can’t get in contact with them, it’s important to have them in a secure environment.”
In the case of the two young men who were stopped by police, we’re very grateful that they were brought back safely, but we want them to be aware that they have the right to leave.
“The trust has been working with police to try and locate them and we will try to get them back safely.”
I’d say that the majority of people who come in contact are really well behaved.
I don’t think we need to worry about that.
“They just need to be careful.” “
Many people would say that there’s nothing wrong with people breeding, that there is nothing wrong in having a few people breeding,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“They just need to be careful.”
In fact, he says, the trust’s breeding programme is very different to other types of breeding: “There is a very high degree of risk and there’s a very clear risk that we will cause harm to the animals, and that risk is being taken very seriously.”
The animals are taken to a local police station and the dogs are then kept in a kennel, where they can only be watched by the owner.
“Our responsibility is to take the animals home,” says Waring.
“That’s what we’re here for, and we have no problem in doing that.”
But he says the trust does not always have the authority to force anyone to stop