What a matchup: watch as the skunk stands its ground against the far larger black bear before unleashing a perfectly visible stream of spray – right in the bear’s face.
Quite a few layers make for fantastic wildlife watching in this June 14, 2018 clip. Captured in Caribou, Maine, the footage focuses in on what seems to be the only creature abound: an American black bear. From a safe and respectable distance, black bears are always a welcomed sight for Outsiders – as the woman recording openly attests.
“Wow! I just don’t often see them in this much daylight,” the unnamed narrator lauds.
As the video rolls on, however, she discovers the black bear is up to something – and he’s not alone. As she focuses in, the bear gives chase in the tall grass. He’s clearly spotted something of interest, and is intent on tracking it down. Then, as if out of nowhere, a skunk pops out of the thicket.
“Oh! He’s chasin’ a skunk!” she continues. “The bear is chasing after a skunk and it’s standing like three feet in front of him! The skunk just charged at the bear with his tail raised,” she adds – knowing what this means.
Striped Skunk Makes a Believer Out of this Black Bear
Striped skunks, which are native to North America, are known for multiple reasons. Their distinct black and white markings is one, of course. But the second is far less precious and far more infamous. Striped skunks spray a powerful defensive odor that – as any Outsider knows and can probably attest to – lingers for days, if not weeks.
They do so with unique anal scent glands. These glands produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals, creating a beyond-foul, incredibly distinct smell that deters even the largest of predators. Like bears, for instance. And this black bear is about to find out exactly how bad a skunk’s spray can be.
“Ooh the bear just got sprayed and ran away!” she laments excitedly. This, however, is an understatement. Watching the scene unfold is a rare glimpse at how intensely skunks can spray. Although she’s at least a dozen yards away, the spray is clearly visible on camera as the skunk shoots two strong streams directly into the bear’s face. That… has to be terrible. Not only will the spray stink up the poor bear for days, but receiving the odorous stream to the eyes can cause temporary blindness, too. It is, in effect, a perfect defensive weapon.
As for the hilarious narrator, the caption notes she “was on the phone with my husband and I saw this bear walk into our backyard. I grabbed the camcorder and started recording. My funny narrating is because I was describing what was going on to him,” she says of the clip uploaded to YouTube.
Watch the fascinating encounter for yourself below, and see the striped skunk make a believer out of this black bear very quickly: