The mystery of the “squnk”: Ohio residents can’t tell if this creature is a squirrel or a skunk

A unique, fascinating creature has been turning heads in Northeast Ohio recently: an animal that appears to be a cross between a squirrel and a skunk.

The animal, dubbed a “squnk,” has the body of a squirrel but the dark black fur and white-tipped tail of a skunk:

Fotoğraf açıklaması yok.

There have been several sightings of the unique creature in Ohio recently and photos have gone viral on social media. Some have speculated that the “squnk” might actually be a hybrid of the two animals.

That is not the case: it is impossible for squirrels and skunks to mate, as they are too genetically different, according to WTRF.

This “squnk,” it turns out, is actually a black squirrel. While it doesn’t have any skunk DNA, it is still quite a rare sight. Black squirrels are the result of breeding between eastern gray squirrels and fox squirrels: the animal seen here is actually an eastern gray squirrel who inherited a gene variant resulting in a darker coloration, according to Smithsonian Magazine.


Black squirrels are rare, making up only one in every 10,000 squirrels. Their dark coat gives them a thermal advantage over normal gray squirrels, helping them to keep warm in the winter and in colder regions.

Black squirrels are the unofficial mascot of Kent State University: in 1961, 10 black squirrels were released on campus, and they have become an iconic staple of the university ever since.

So if you’re in Ohio and come across a “squnk,” rest assured it’s only a black squirrel with a little skunk-like fur on its tail — you’re not in danger of getting sprayed.

Wow, what a striking creature! It might not actually be a squirrel-skunk hybrid but still a unique animal to come across ❤️

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