R&DE cautions Manzanita residents on campus wildlife

May 5, 2015, 10:34 p.m.

Local wildlife, particularly skunks, has been pestering students in the Manzanita Park area, and Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) would like to remind students that wildlife on campus is best left alone.

While students may be used to encountering wildlife on campus, such as squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons, the influx of skunks in the Manzanita Park area has startled many students. One student, Ying Hong Tham ‘17, recalls his admittedly humorous encounter with three skunks one night.

“I heard squeaking and squirming and leaves rustling from my room on the third floor, which has windows facing the courtyard,” Tham said. “I went down to investigate, went out the door, all was still. It was dark then, 10 p.m., I think, and didn’t expect to see anything. Then I looked under the bushes to the right of the main door. Three pairs of furious eyes stared straight back at me, silhouettes outlined by the light from rooms nearby. I paused for a moment, suppressing the urge to run for the door… then I slowly straightened my back, walked casually to the door, swiped my card, opened the door, and bolted in.”

“It was a pretty amusing encounter for me, probably since they didn’t attack,” continued Tham. “It was a good homework break. Would’ve probably been overwhelmed by three of them, then it wouldn’t have been fun…”

“Several residents have recently expressed concerns about animals they are seeing around the buildings,” wrote Jillian Kornegay, the Housing Front Desk Supervisor for Manzanita, in an email to all Manzanita residents. “We would like to let you know that the wildlife activity in this area is normal for this time of year, and to remind you that these are wild animals and best left alone.”

“Some people have experienced frightening encounters with raccoons and skunks,” Kornegay continued. “For those of you who are not used to living in close proximity to these critters, please remember that they are nocturnal and much more afraid of you than you are of them. You are probably seeing these animals more frequently because it is spring, which is their mating season. The raccoons and skunks are out looking for mates, and if they encounter another animal that doesn’t want to mate, raccoons may fight and the skunks may spray.”

“Please remember not to directly approach these animals, especially the skunks, as they may spray you before they run away!”

Contact Jeremy Quach at jquach ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Jeremy Quach is a sophomore Desk Editor for the Student Groups beat and is from Kansas City, Kansas. He can often be found smiling, stuffing his face full of french fries, and mumbling Beatles lyrics to himself. He can be contacted at jquach ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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