A sticky situation turned into a stinky one in Aptos when rescuers rushed to free a skunk that was stuck in a resident's back yard.
Nonprofit group WildRescue received a call from a homeowner around 12:45 p.m. Monday, saying a skunk had gotten his head entangled in the net of a batting cage in the home's backyard.
The cage netting is similar to gill net, which is typically used to trap fish, rescue group operator Rebecca Dmytryk said. In this case, the skunk poked his head through the net, got it stuck, panicked and then started spinning.
"When animals get into a net like that," Dmytryk said,"they poke their heads through and get entangled."
The animal had tried to free itself by chewing through part of the net but he was so entangled, he was beginning to suffocate, the group's blog says.
When rescuers arrived, they managed to free the skunk but the net was still wrapped around his head. (Scroll down for YouTube clip.)
Removing him from the cage was somewhat of an unpleasant experience, Dmytryk said. Rescuers approached the skunk carefully with a blanket to prevent being sprayed. But the skunk sprayed itself, Dmytryk said, an odor resembling "the most intense mix of sweet onions and garlic."
Dmytryk and the rescuers drove the skunk to a vet in Los Gatos. The skunk was anesthetized so the vet could remove the netting from its neck. The skunk made it through the surgery just fine and the rescue group sent him on his way back into the Aptos woods Monday night.
"Skunks are amazing, wonderful animals." Dmytryk said. "They eat rats, mice, small rodents ... they eat our garbage."
Bay City News contributed to this report.