There are hidden rivalries that exist in the urban natural environment. Many creatures compete for resources and territory.
Then, there are some animals who just plain don’t like each other. That is the situation an opossum and skunk found themselves in recently.
Trail Cam Pro held a contest looking for the best trail cam footage.
The winner was a woman from New York by the name of Betsy Potter. Her footage of an opossum pushing a skunk into a pond won the competition and the internet.
Why would an opossum push a skunk into a pond?
Raccoons, opossums, and skunks all eat rats, mice, insects, and basically anything they can get their hands on. While they can get along, they are also in competition with one another for food sources.
It is not uncommon to see them fighting amongst each other.
Judging by how the opossum went about this act, we’re thinking he just wanted the skunk out of his path.
It was probably just a little territorial love tap to let the skunk know whose territory it was.
How did the skunk react?
The skunk played off everything pretty cool. After all, they likely didn’t want the opossum to know they were bothered by what took place.
By the time the skunk gets back out of the water, the opossum is gone.
The skunk doesn’t seem interested in chasing after the offender. They just continue going about their business, albeit with a wetter coat.
Are opossums aggressive?
Opossums are not aggressive. They will hiss and try and look scary to establish territory but they would much rather avoid a fight than participate in one.
In fact, opossums will often faint or fall into a catatonic state in response to fear. This has helped them from an evolutionary standpoint as a method to avoid conflict with other wildlife.
A popular misconception about opossums is that they are “playing dead” when they do this. Researchers have found this is actually an involuntary response from the opossum, however.
Opossums also provide a valuable service for humans.
They have been known to eat thousands of ticks that carry Lyme disease that could be passed on to humans. Thank you, opossums!
Are skunks aggressive?
Skunks are more offensive than aggressive. Unless they have rabies, they are of no physical threat to you. They are a threat to your odor, however.
Skunks have one of nature’s coolest defenses, albeit one that can be problematic for its human neighbors.
Skunks will only release their spray as a last resort. It can take up to 10 days for a skunk to be able to replenish it, so they won’t use their spray unless all other methods of defense have failed. Normally, a skunk will hiss, raise its tail, and/or stomp its feet before spraying.
A skunk’s spray doesn’t just make everything stink, though.
The spray can cause temporary blindness as well. Skunks can spray it out up to 10 feet as well, so they are able to dose a potential threat with it from a safe distance.
See the possum shoving his skunk nemesis into a pond below!
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