lately i have had a couple of visits from our local skunks and raccoons. recently there was a skunk its baby wandering through my yard looking for food. i attempted to establish some sort of relationship with it by talking softly to it, without getting too closely of course. it looked towards me for just a second and scurried away quickly. it occurred to me that it was a difficult situation in a time where it would be hard to have a successful collaboration with the animal because it was with its offspring so its main interest was its safety. however, when i thought about it, the skunk did not raise its tail to me, which as we all know is its primary defense mode. it didn't seem to me that the skunk was very threatened by my presence, especially with its child near. i would imagine that it was immediately try and spray me. it gave me a feeling of somewhat success to think that the animal wasn't very threatened by me.
i had another encounter with a skunk a few days after this occurrence. this time it was a skunk on it's own, no child; so i figured that it was possibly the father to the pair i had seen before. (this is running from the assumption that the animals remain in the same territory). i tried to get its attention by using a calm voice, as intimidating as possible. i got its attention and its head turned to me, pausing as it rummaged through my trash. i tried to speak to a little more, asking it how it was doing. making small talk, although knowing that it obviously didn't know what i was saying. it appeared to me that it was dis-concerned with my being there, showing that it at the same time was not threatened. i kept my distance, as to not get sprayed by it in the event that its attitude changed towards me. i tried to talk to it more for about a minute and then it walked along my fence and out of my yard via the driveway. at that point it wasn't sure i could establish anything with the skunk, but at least I'm not getting the dreaded "raised-tail" response from it.