Live skunk captured on Oahu

  • A live skunk was captured Wednesday morning at Pier 1 at Honolulu Harbor.

A live skunk was captured Wednesday morning at Pier 1 at Honolulu Harbor.

Plant Quarantine inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture were called by the state Department of Transportation – Harbors Division on Tuesday night and reported that a stevedore had cornered and contained a skunk under a container at the pier.

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Inspectors arrived that night, but due to safely concerns were unable to capture the skunk. Early Wednesday, a team of inspectors was able to safely capture the animal, the Department of Agriculture said.

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. Currently, it is unknown how the skunk arrived at the pier. 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.

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Skunks are prohibited in Hawaii and are only allowed by permit for research and exhibition in a municipal zoo. Skunks inhabit the U.S., Canada, South America, Mexico and other parts of the world. In the U.S. they 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. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. and one of the few places in the world that is free of rabies.

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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