Maui News

Live Skunk Captured at Honolulu Harbor

January 22, 2021, 8:18 AM HST
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Skunk captured at Honolulu Harbor. (Jan. 2021) Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

A live skunk was captured on Wednesday morning at Pier 1 at Honolulu Harbor, according to officials with the state Department of Agriculture.

A stevedore had cornered and contained the skunk under a container at the pier on Tuesday night. Plant Quarantine inspectors attempted to capture the animal on Tuesday, but returned the following morning due to safety concerns.

The skunk was determined to be female and weighed about 6 pounds. A test for rabies has been sent to the mainland and results are expected in a few days. As a precautionary measure, inspectors have also set traps in the surrounding area in case there may be other hitchhiking animals nearby.

Last month, a live skunk was also found at a Kahului pier after being spotted by a biologist. In February 2018, a live skunk was contained by stevedores at Pier 1 at Honolulu Harbor and in August 2018, a live skunk was found in a container at a trucking company on Maui. All of those skunks were captured by HDOA inspectors and tested negative for rabies.

Skunks are prohibited in Hawaiʻi and are only allowed by permit for research and exhibition in a municipal zoo. In the U.S., skunks are  recognized as one of the four primary wild carriers of rabies, a fatal viral disease of mammals that is often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Hawaiʻi is the only state in the US and one of the few places in the world that is free of rabies.

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Sightings or captures of illegal and invasive species should be reported to the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

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