A hog-nosed skunk has been confirmed to have been spotted at the Grand Canyon, across the Colorado River and a decent distance away from the area in which the beasts are known to typically roam.
The hog-nosed skunk was snapped by an eagle-eyed visitor back in August, and wildlife experts were puzzled by the animal’s presence, as hog-nosed skunks usually chill in Arizona, Mexico or Texas. But the Washington Post reports that one of the beasties clearly either roamed out of its territory or was doing a bit of sight-seeing of its own, as the hog-nosed skunk clearly “somehow made its way north of the Colorado River last year.”
Idaho resident Jen Hiebert was with a group of rafters when they spotted the hog-nosed skunk at the side of the rapids and she managed to grab a pic. No one was able to locate the species among known animals in or around the Grand Canyon, so Hiebert forwarded the candid on over to the National Park Service so the agency could have a look see.
Of the hog-nosed skunk’s actions that day, the rafter says:
“It was just walking through the canyon, totally ignored us and was just digging away in the sand … I’m not sure what it was after.”
Grand Canyon wildlife program manager Greg Holm commented on the hog-nosed skunk’s surprise appearance in the area, saying that no one knows exactly why the creature was in the park:
“Obviously it’s in the park and there’s a photograph of it … I guess the question would be, is it going to live out its life here or was it traveling from point A to point B?”
Holm added that the hog-nosed skunk had clearly managed to get across the river, saying:
“Whether or not it crossed, swam across, it certainly could … How else would it get there?”
The manager says, however, all theories as to how the hog-nosed skunk ended up in the Grand Canyon are speculation, and there’s no way to know — we probably just haven’t found the animal’s Foursquare account yet.