WICHITA, Kansas -- Our streak of nice weather may be creating an encore of wildlife appearances, including a stinky situation in Sedgwick County Park.
There's been an increase in skunk sightings there and wildlife biologists say one way or another, the reason is tied to our warm weather.
Calls flow into the Great Plains Nature Center pretty regularly, reporting wildlife eating people's trash, wildlife on the porch or in the backyard.
Lately wildlife biologists say they've had an increase in furbearer calls.
"They're certainly up and skunks in particular are really high this year compared to past years," says wildlife biologist Charlie Cope.
Some of those extra appearances are made by the skunks at Sedgwick County Park.
"You don't know how many times that skunks already been scared that day," says Cope.
They're not necessarily afraid of the humans invading their space.
"Typically they're going to move away, they'll saunter away, they don't have a lot of fear," explains Cope. "If they've been around people and dogs they've lost more of that fear of humans."
So why the excess skunks, when other species, like geese, have seen reduced numbers, likely due to the droughts of this winter and last?
"A lot of the furbearers, especially skunks that are more generalists, they probably make a pretty good living and there are still people that are putting out cat food, dog food, things like that, trash around, and so there's a lot of habitat for them, so I think probably they do better."
Whether it's in a bird feeder, dog or cat food bowl, or a lidless trash can, skunks will eat it all.
"Even though they're generalists and there's a lot of food around, as the plants die out and there's less garden to eat, they may have to expand into new territories," says Cope.
So to keep the skunks out of your yard, pick up that dog and cat food, tighten the lid on your trash can and raise up that woodpile.
"You know it's pretty neat to see wildlife, you just don't want to create too much habitat so it hangs around your place."
Wildlife experts also suggest skunks may need extra time to find enough food for winter because the drought has cut into their food supply.