State veterinarians tentatively identified it as a striped skunk and appears to be a young adult weighing 3.5 pounds. The gender has not yet been determined as veterinarians minimize handling of the animal until a negative rabies test result is received.
It is not known exactly when or how the skunk got onto the pier, but CBP reports that stevedores saw the animal running around in the harbor yard with its head in an empty yogurt cup.
Skunks are prohibited in Hawai‘i and are only allowed by permit for research and exhibition in a municipal zoo. Skunks inhabit the U.S., Canada, South America, Mexico and other parts of the world. They are also one of the four wild animals considered to be the primary carriers of the rabies virus, a fatal viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. and one of the few places in the world that is rabies free.
The Plant Quarantine Branch records indicate that this is the first skunk captured in the state.
Sightings or captures of illegal and invasive species should be reported to the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).