Face it, skunks are underappreciated.
Sure, sometimes they get into the trash, their spray doesn’t exactly smell great, and even their name sounds kind of like “skulk.”
But watch this video of a little skunk family and just try to argue that they aren’t dang adorable.
In the clip, a cyclist freezes in place as a black and white crew ambles over to investigate. The Daily Dot notes it first surfaced in July 2015, but it is circulating online again this week after getting posted on Reddit. But frankly, the cuteness is timeless. Also, who knew they made such weird little sounds?
The Humane Society of the United States notes that people often needlessly panic over skunks:
Occasional skunk sightings in a neighborhood are not a cause for alarm. Because skunks are generally easy-going, they will not intentionally bother people. In fact, skunks may benefit humans by eating many insects and rodents many regard as pests.
Since skunks only spray if they feel threatened (or they think their kits are threatened), it’s best to back away slowly, the HSUS recommends, not act aggressively or antagonize them.
And seeing a skunk in the daytime does not necessarily mean the animal is rabid, the organization writes. You should be concerned if the skunk is exhibiting symptoms like limb paralysis, unprovoked aggression, or is staggering around in a disoriented way.
Hopefully, you’re thoroughly convinced at this point that skunks rule. That said, please don’t all go gung-ho and convince yourself that you need one as a pet. Though it is possible to get “domesticated” skunks that have been bred in captivity — and are said to be tamer than their wild cousins — owning one is illegal in most states. Even those people who do enthusiastically keep skunks as pets tend to stress that it takes a lot of commitment, research and work to care for them properly. And whatever you do, don’t attempt to pluck a poor hapless skunk from the wild. Let those critters live their lives.