No, you're not imagining things... New York is currently overrun with skunks.

With cannabis now legalized in the Empire State, it might be hard to tell if what you're smelling is drugs or Pepe Le Pew, but in the middle of February, it's most likely our striped mammal (sorry, Zebras). There's a very special reason why they're so active.

There's a very special reason why New Yorkers are seeing more skunks this month, and it all has to do with this tiny baby
There's a very special reason why New Yorkers are seeing more skunks this month, and it all has to do with this tiny baby (KenCanning via Canva)
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Why New Yorkers are Seeing More Skunks this Month

Skunks may be one of the most misunderstood animals in New York. While their name is synonymous with their impressive spray, they only release their stink when threatened (dogs are especially famous for provoking them). This month, however, they might be out in force.

It is officially skunk mating season in New York
It is officially skunk mating season in New York (Comstock Images via Canva)
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Skunk Mating Season in New York State

Just in time for Valentine's Day, skunk mating season is underway in New York state. From the beginning of February to the end of March, Hudson Valley, NY skunks are on the prowl. From the National Parks Service (NPS):

Love is in the air... It’s skunk mating season. You may be more likely to see (or smell) a skunk this time of year. As always, give wildlife the space it needs

While the striped skunks in New York aren't as flexible as the acrobatic spotted skunk (click here if you've never seen a skunk do a handstand before), they'll still try their best to find a mate. That means Hudson Valley, NY yards, trails, and even roads will very likely see an increase in skunk traffic. Here's what you can do to stay safe (and stink-free).

Skunk Safety in New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recommends keeping a close eye on household pets to avoid unwanted skunk interactions. While cats seem to easily coexist with skunks, feeding outdoor cats at night can attract skunks to eat alongside them. Free-roaming dogs are also more likely to incite a skunk spray incident.

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Wildlife is just one of the many reasons that the Hudson Valley is such a special place to live. Check out the adorable Orange County, NY beaver family below, and keep scrolling to see one of the wildest hunting lodges to ever have been built in the state.

Frolicking Beaver Family Swims in the Hudson Valley

Mom, dad, and two adorable baby beavers took some family time out on a Orange County, NY lake

Gallery Credit: Jonah

How Many Dead Animals Can You Spot in this Hudson Valley Mansion?

Let's play the morbid version of I Spy... how many carcasses can you find in this home?

Gallery Credit: Jonah

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