Known for their black and white fur and their unique smell, skunks are definitely one of the most underappreciated mammals. But today, we’re going to talk about them.
To be more specific, we’re going to take a look at how long do skunks live, what’s their natural habitat and whether or not they can live longer in captivity that out in the wild. Let’s begin!
How long do skunks live?
Contrary to what most people might think, skunks don’t live long. Actually, they’re known for having a very short lifespan, and only managing to live up to 3 years out in the wild.
However, it’s very likely they can extend their lifespan when living in captivity (we will take a look at that later on). For now, it’s important to understand that even tho skunks are mammals, they don’t have a very long life expectancy.
How long do skunks live in the wild?
Skunks usually live in dens digged by themselves, meaning they tend to live in yards, usually hidden away in their holes, although they can sometimes live in brush piles too.
It is due to this various reasons than skunks only manage to live up to 3 years out in the wild, having a very short and quick lifespan when compared to other animals.
There have been some cases of skunks that manage to live past the 3 year mark, although this isn’t as common as you would expect, and they usually die either when they reach 3 years old, or a little bit sooner.
How long do skunks live in captivity?
Like we mentioned before, skunks actually do live longer in captivity than in the wild, being able to live up to 8 years (easily surpassing the 3 years mark).
Of course, when living in captivity skunks continue to eat what they would normally eat in the wild, meaning a diet composed of several plants, small insects, and some very small rodents in rare occasions.
Due to the fact they are pulled away from their natural predators, and have a comfy place to live, skunks do get to have a longer lifespan when raised in captivity, even when this doesn’t happen in the wild.
Life expectancy of skunks according to the species
10 years in the wild and 14 years in captivity.
Eastern spotted skunk
10 years in captivity.
Southern spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk
American hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt’s hog-nosed skunk
7 years in captivity.
Striped hog-nosed skunk
Sunda stink badger
Palawan stink badger
10 years in captivity.