When Salem's Health Agent detailed the city's growing rat population at a City Council meeting last month, we published a post entitled: Does Salem Have a Rat Problem?
The answer from our readers was overwhelmingly yes.
However, we couldn't help but notice that many of those who commented used the post as an opportunity to sound off on the city's skunk population.
In fact, every once in a while the actions of a wayward local skunk will end up in our daily Salem Patch police log posts. Just last Thursday, Salem police officers were called to check on a suspicious skunk that was spotted walking down the middle of the street near the intersection of Gallows Hill Road and Witch Way.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, local officers responded to a report of a rabid skunk at the intersection of Webb and Cousin streets - but were unable to find anything in the area.
Here's what some of our readers have already said about Salem skunks:
Diane Britter: I saw a rat on Howard Street and it was as big as a groundhog. How come nobody is talking about the skunk problem as well? When the warmer weather comes the skunks are EVERYWHERE. When I walk my dog on trash day I'm constantly having to be on alert as the skunks get into the trash. The commons is teaming with them. One morning I counted 5 skunks when walking my dog around the commons.
Carolyn Costain: Its been a problem for 4 to 5 years now in that area. You are also right about the skunks. I rarely take my dog to the common because of the skunk population but the Willow are the worst. I don't go there anymore. On just one walkway near the water side, I counter 17 skunks and turned around and left . I have not been back there since.
Bob: It's a stinky situation. Rats, skunks, mice, and dogs barking at all hrs and what about those turkeys and geese. But knowing the stupid laws if you kill a rat or a skunk you will be seen by a nosey nieghbor who will call the cops and they will arrest you for abuse of animals.
So, we have to ask: Do you expect to see a lot of skunks in your neighborhood once warmer weather returns? Do you see a lot of them in the winter months?
Do you think the city should do something to reduce the local skunk population?
Let us know in the comments section below.