Skunks In Central Park Are Terrifying Dogs & Locals

rexusa_217399aPhoto: JAMES FRASER/REX USA.
New Yorkers are used to seeing certain wildlife in their city. Among them, mice, pigeons, the occasional raccoon, and tiny dogs in coats. But, now there's something new to look out for: Central Park is seeing an influx of skunks. How did Pepé Le Pew and friends make their way to Central Park? Have the rats simply begun to evolve?
Apparently, skunks are actually a part of the local wildlife — we just don't see them very often. Park officials aren't sure why the sightings have spiked in recent weeks. Those walking their dog in Central Park now face the threat of being on receiving end of the notorious animal's odorous spray. In response, the Park Department told the New York Post, "As a general policy, NYC Parks does not interfere with the natural habitat of skunks and will not relocate healthy skunks found in a park." In other words, New Yorkers are plain out of luck — especially since the rodents are mainly spraying dogs.
The real story, however, is in the reactions New Yorkers are posting online to the #Skunkpocalypse (we just made that up, so you can thank us later when it trends on social media). Just take a look at the comments already posted on New York mag's coverage of skunksanity: "I'm really sick of this ombré hair trend" and "Gentrification at its finest," rank among our favorites. We're dying to see this skunk-mania thing take off — but are we positive these aren't just really big rats? (New York & New York Post)