If you see a baby skunk (or a line of baby skunks, nose-to-tail) running around without a mother in sight, he (or they) could be orphaned. Skunks have poor eyesight, so if something scares the mother and she runs off, her babies can quickly lose sight of her.
Monitor the situation to see if the mother rejoins her young. If the babies are on the move, put on gloves and slowly place a plastic laundry basket (with lattice sides) over the babies to keep them in one spot and make it easier for the mother to find them. Do not put a weight on top of the laundry basket.
If the mother returns to her young, she will flip up the basket and get them. If she has trouble doing this, you should lift the basket to let them out.
Remember that skunks are very near-sighted, so fast movements can startle them into spraying. If you move slowly and speak softly, though, you will not get sprayed.
Skunks warn potential predators by stamping their front feet when they’re alarmed, so if the mother doesn’t do this, you’re safe to proceed. If no mother comes to retrieve her young by dawn, contact us.