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HUNTINGTON BEACH : City Gives Its Consent to Anti-Skunk Plan

Residents plagued by a proliferation of pesky skunks in their neighborhoods may soon get some relief.

The City Council Monday agreed to spend up to $3,000 to hire a professional animal trapper to remove the skunks in and around Huntington Central Park and relocate them to a wilderness.

The trapper charges $25 per skunk, which means the money will pay for the capture of at least 100 animals.

In recent months, the skunk population has increased rapidly. Skunks have overrun the Franciscan Fountains neighborhood near Golden West Street and Slater Avenue. They also have been a nuisance in other parts of the city, including residential areas off Bolsa Chica Road.

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Ron Hagan, community services director, said there are between 250 and 500 skunks in the Central Park area. Hagan said recent construction at Central Library and nearby residential development have forced the skunks to migrate to the park and city flood-control channels. Because there are too many skunks, many are wandering into residential areas to look for food.

Hagan said that trapping will start next week, and a “skunk hot line” will be set up. The city also will make a product available free to the public that gets rid of the powerful skunk scent. The nontoxic powder will be available at the park’s Shipley Nature Center by next week. Residents are asked to bring a plastic bag for it.

Animal-control officers also will begin a public education program to inform residents how to keep skunks out of their yards.

“It’s up to the residents to follow up on the Orange County Animal Control handouts,” he said.

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