Can Skunks Climb Trees?

Written by Megan Martin
Published: April 14, 2023
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Have you ever seen a skunk and wondered what else they could do other than spray? It turns out, they have many different skills! However, is climbing trees one of them? To learn more about whether or not skunks can climb trees, keep reading below!

Eastern spotted skunk

A spotted skunk will often perform handstands as a warning before spraying.

©Agnieszka Bacal/

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Species Profile: Skunks

The term skunk refers to any mammal found in the family Mephitidae. They are known for the foul-smelling liquid they are able to produce and spray onto threats, including your pets and even yourself. 

Although the most common appearance of a skunk is black and white, these aren’t the only colors they come in. In some instances, they can also appear to be brown or cinnamon!

Where Do Skunks Live?

Skunks can thrive in both rural and urban areas. In the wild, they are most commonly found on the ground, usually under piles of fallen wood or in dens. When they live in the city, they are mostly scavengers and rest in quiet, dark areas away from people. 

How Many Types of Skunks Are There?

There are ten different species of skunks in the world. Although they are all in the same family (this is what makes them skunks!), some are in different genera. For example, there are four in the genus Conepatus, two in the genus Mephitis, and four in the genus Spilogale. The most common skunk is the striped skunk, or Mephitis mephitis

What Do Skunks Eat?

Skunks are anything but picky when it comes to securing their next meal. They prefer to eat animal matter, including animals like mice and birds, as well as eggs. Skunks will also eat insects and scavenge deceased animals when available. 

Can Skunks Climb Trees?

Whether or not a skunk can climb trees depends on the skunk type. Overall, yes, skunks can climb trees. Certain species, like the stripped skunk, are better suited for climbing mesh and fences. On the other hand, spotted skunks can climb trees. 

Yes, spotted skunks can climb trees!

©Holly Kuchera/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Yasmins world/

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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