Punk the skunk can smell Pet Idol glory

MEET Punk, the pet rescue skunk who's hoping to create a stink among more traditional pets by sniffing his way to success in Pet Idol 2009.

MEET Punk, the pet rescue skunk who's hoping to create a stink among more traditional pets by sniffing his way to success in Pet Idol 2009.

A whole host of animals, including cats, dogs, and guinea pigs entered the annual competition in Capel St Mary in the hope of clinching the top title.

But catching the eye of many visitors is Punk - the immaculately-presented skunk from the Mistley Animal Rescue Centre just outside Manningtree.

The eight-month-old creature was rescued from a property in Cambridgeshire last summer when he was only a few weeks old.

Maureen Taylor from the rescue centre said: “He was in quite a bad way when we took them on, and he needed a lot of care to restore him to full health.

“That meant he got used to being handled by people and became quite tame. Skunks are wild animals and usually they won't let people near them.

Most Read

“The other skunk, Sunny, is very wild - but we can take Punk out on a lead and he is very friendly. That's why we entered him in the competition.”

Punk and Sunny are not the first skunks adopted by the centre.

“We have a big outdoor run for them - they aren't the kind of pet you want to have indoors,” said Mrs Taylor.

Organised by Rats, Cats and Elephants at Bypass Nurseries, the competition saw people from all over the area bring in their pets at the weekend, where they were pictured by Stour Valley Photography.

Those photos have been put online to give people the chance to vote for their favourite pets.

The pictures will be on display in store for voting from today. The winner will be announced in store on Saturday.

Last year's Pet Idol was won by Molly the Collie cross, who was given the crown as she was thought to be both playful and fun to be around.

Pets of all breeds, colours and sizes entered last year but it was the dogs that scooped the first three places.

The photos from last year's competition and this year's can be found at www.stourvalleyphotography.com

Skunk facts:

Skunks are native to North America.

In the wild they are unlikely to live beyond three-years-old - but in captivity they can live up to a decade.

Their smell is produced by scent glands on their backsides.

They are omnivorous, eating small creatures like frogs, lizards and mice - but they are also scavengers and eat fruit in the autumn.

They have poor eyesight and are quite slow-moving, which makes them vulnerable to traffic.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter