The mild winter has one stinky animal coming out of hibernation early.
It has become a hazard in one southeastern New Mexico town, and now police are trying taking action.
The smell of skunk is in the air in Hagerman.
“Skunks are a nuisance, for sure,” said Viola Badcock, owner of Hagerman Township Animal Shelter.
The problem is growing and concerns are rising.
“Not just here, it’s in the valley, it’s everywhere,” she said. “The ones that are hanging in town and causing problems generally are not healthy.”
Getting multiple calls of skunks in town, Hagerman Police are taking action.
“What we’re going to be doing is setting traps around Hagerman. It’s not just Hagerman, it’s Lake Arthur as well as Dexter,” said Hagerman Police Patrolman Adam Chavez.
Police are wanting to control the issue before it gets worse. The stinky critters are being caught using items the city already has.
“The traps that I am going to be setting are for cats, feral cats,” Badcock said.
Once caught, most of the skunks will be relocated.
“If they are healthy skunks they will be relocated on the east side of town, out past the river where hopefully they will stay and not find their way back,” Chavez said.
Skunks are the size of a small house pet, and residents have voiced concerns over their pets being caught.
“These cages are very safe and they’re not going to hurt the cat or dog or whatever,” she said.
If a pet is caught, it’ll be taken to the local shelter. To get it back, it’ll come at a cost.
“If someone’s pet is caught, it’s considered having the animals running at large. There is citations involved, they will be cited into court,” Chavez said.
Police say the minimum fine for animals running at large is $54. They hope this will not only prevent animals from roaming the streets but from being infected by a potentially sick skunk.
Roswell’s Animal Control has also been getting calls about skunks. They’ve picked up 11 since the start of the year.