Turtle Bay Exploration Park welcomes Blossom the baby skunk

Blossom the striped skunk is one of Turtle Bay Exploration Park's newest ambassador animals. She and her handlers educate people about animal behavior.

Animal curator Sharon Clay has a new adolescent girl for whom to care.

Like some human teenagers, she loves to play with toys, is social, eats a varied diet and has a BFF with a wild hairdo.

On June 7, Blossom the skunk joined Turtle Bay Exploration Park’s demonstration and education animal team. She is one of the park’s rescued animals who — for various reasons — were unable to be re-released into the wild after receiving medical or baby care.

The little Shasta County native had a rough start.

Baby skunk "Blossom" was rescued and came to Turtle Bay Exploration Park on June 7, 2022.

Blossom was about 4.5 weeks old when hikers found her wandering alone on a trail, Clay said. The hikers “did the right thing. They took a box, turned it on its side, put a blanket in there and left her overnight,” hoping her mother would return for her.

When they checked on her the next morning, the baby skunk was still there.

It’s likely a predator or car killed her mother, Clay said.

Without a mother to teach her how to hunt and forage, Blossom lacks the skills needed to be released into the wild again.