Some Rapid City residents are facing a stinky problem

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:48 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A Rapid City neighborhood is facing a stinky situation. They believe their properties are being overrun with skunks.

Living in the Black Hills it comes as no surprise when people come face to face with wildlife, but for John Burke, the increase in skunks in his neighborhood is a cause for concern.

“We’re right downtown, we’re half a block off West Boulevard and so we’re not on the outskirts of the city were not by the woods, we are right downtown,” said Burke.

Even though he lives less than a mile from downtown Rapid City, Burke has trapped four skunks in the last month.

Additionally, animal control Officer KP Davidson says the Humane Society of the Black Hills has received an uptick in calls regarding skunk removal.

“So I’m wondering if there is a den that might be quite large that’s got multiple skunks that are kind of traveling the area because a skunk will stay in like a four-mile radius of its den usually because they can travel up to one mile a night. But there has been a huge uptick of skunk calls within the city,” said Officer Davidson.

Burke and his neighbors worry about the pets and children in the neighborhood as skunks can carry diseases, and their spray can leave a rotten odor that lasts for weeks.

Donna Mulder, a resident in the neighborhood said, “the next generation of grandchildren are running around here and many of us have pets and like I said we bring those pets into the house and into the living room, we may be unaware they were exposed.”

“Well, the safety issue is probably the biggest one, neighbors have pets and grandchildren play in the area, and children, neighbors just have a child so, the safety is one thing,” said Jerilyn Glanzer, who lives two doors down from Burke.

“So, they don’t belong in the area where people live or that you have family, tenants, or children or your possessions basically they just really don’t belong in that area,” said Lori Sauser, another resident in the neighborhood.

Burke reached out to the city. The response was not what he expected.

“They basically said you’re going to have to live with it. Well, I don’t want to live with it, I want to get rid of the skunks,” said Burke, in response to the city.

We reached out to Rapid City’s communication coordinator Darrell Shoemaker, who says that the city does not have a trapping program, but homeowners can set traps on their properties or contact a pest control company.

“If we had an issue of a rabid animal in one of our city parks or on school grounds and so forth that would certainly be an exception. They certainly can check off with Game, Fish, and Parks Department perhaps and find out if they have any options but generally speaking the trapping of pests on private property it rests with the private homeowner,” said Shoemaker.

Skunks can be found living under decks or porches or even inside garages, barns, or sheds.