Skunk: It’s the New Cockroach, Bedbug, Coyote, Goose, Etc.


Lately, it’s as if an arc of unwanted animals docked on the Hudson and unloaded onto Manhattan. There were coyotes earlier in the year, bedbugs everywhere all summer long, raccoons a few days ago, the unfortunate geese episodes, and now this: skunks.

This is New York City, not some lush forest in the Appalachians! Nevertheless, without any rhyme or reason, the stinkiest of all have topped off the animal invasion. They’re following suit after whatever happened this year to offset New York’s delicate ecological balance, typically only supportive of rats, mice, and cockroaches.

And we swear, the Times’s City Room blog must have a team of reporters dedicated to the pest beat, because they’ve been on it since the coyote in Tribeca and probably even before.

As for the latest problem, Co-op City residents complained of the smelly garbage-snoopers in the spring, and people in Inwood and Washington Heights have seen them around for years. Lately, they’ve sprayed their stench all over Riverside Park, infecting dogs with their nasty odor and bugging neighbors with open windows. Richard Simon, the deputy director of the city’s urban park rangers, told City Room that Manhattan’s skunk population has increased in recent years.

But how do they get onto our island? For what it’s worth, if you see a skunk riding the back of someone’s bumper over the George Washington Bridge, consider rear-ending the car for a pest control fender-bender. If you see something, do something. And if this is an Improv Everywhere prank, we’re not even giggling.