The Seattle Times: Local News: Skunk on Bellingham airport runway diverts planes
Skunk on Bellingham airport runway diverts planes
The Associated Press
BELLINGHAM — This wasn’t your typical airport security threat.
An exhausted skunk, its head stuck in a plastic rat bait box, was parked on the taxiway at Bellingham International Airport. Planes were diverted around the skunk while airport officials debated what to do.
“We called the State Patrol and they contacted the Game Department,” airport operations supervisor Dennis Partlow said.
The bait box belonged to a local pest control company, but there was no help to be found there. So Partlow contacted the Sardis Raptor Center, which typically helps hawks, eagles and owls, but agreed to intervene last Friday.
Center director Sharon Wolters had handled skunks before and approached the animal with a towel.
“He couldn’t see me. As long as you don’t make loud noises or scare them, they’re pretty easy to handle,” Wolters said.
Wolters covered the skunk and then injected the animal with a sedative. She took the skunk back to the Sardis rehabilitation center in Custer, where it’s receiving daily vitamin K injections, which serve as an antidote to the rat poison the skunk ingested, Wolters said. The skunk is expected to spend the next few weeks at the rehabilitation center, and has started eating cat food along with other food the animal has been offered.
But workers are being very careful not to trigger the skunk’s spray.
“Everybody is under strict orders. Whoever sets him off has to clean it up themselves,” Wolters said.