As the first mild spring weather comes to Cape Cod, Raccoons and skunks begin moving into quiet, protected nesting sites to deliver their young. At about the same time , property owners venture out to see how their vacation house fared over the winter. It’s up to Kevin Perry – and the three employees of Perry Le Pews Wildlife Service in Matstons Mills, Massachusetts – to sort out the inevitable conflicts. Raccoons, Perry says, love chimneys. To move them out, Perry first installs a patented live trap of his own design in the mouth if the chimney and directs a stream of air into the bottom of the flue to encourage the mother to climb into it. Then he dismantles the damper assembly and carefully places the babies in a boxlike “rehabilitation unit” (another original design), where they are reunited with their mother while the chimney is sealed with a wire-mesh cap (ditto).
Skunks are actually easier, although they call for certain finesse. “They’ll den under porches or in cellars,” Perry says. :but you can take advantage of their curiosity. I’ll put a box down and talk to her in a quiet voice. She’ll usually go right in.” The ones to watch , he says are the “junior squirters,” young males from 14 to 20 weeks of age.”They’ll keep giving you the sign- stamping their feet and raising their tails.” So far though, none has gone further than that. With 30 years in the business and an estimated 4,000 moved skunks to his credit, Perry has yet to be sprayed. “Not yet,” he says. “Knock on wood.”
Written by Jon Vara, Yankee Magazine.