Pepe le Phew: B.C. woman frees skunk with plastic cup stuck on its head

How far would you go to rescue an animal in distress?

For many people, the answer is, “Not as far as Tanya Krasuin.”

The Mission, B.C., resident and animal lover risked becoming a walking stink bomb on Wednesday in order to free a skunk whose head had become lodged in a Burger King plastic cup.

Krasuin was leaving her home near Wren Street to go to work Wednesday morning when she heard a scraping sound and spotted the trapped animal.

“He was on my front steps, and he was kind of disoriented and he actually fell down the stairs because he couldn’t see very well,” she explained.

She went back inside to drop off her things and — over her mother’s objections — headed back out with the goal of freeing the skunk.

“I told her I’m not going to work until I find this skunk,” she said.

When she found it again, the animal had made its way into the road. Krasuin wrapped some plastic bags around her hands and went to work.

The cup Krasuin pulled from the skunk’s head. She said she was surprised at how firmly the lid was clamped onto the cup.

“I was really nervous, I kept jumping back because I was scared I was going to get sprayed. And then I was like, ‘No, I have to do this. I don’t care if I stink for a week, I have to get this off this poor guy. It was so stuck. I struggled, I had him off the ground,” she said.

“Honestly, I think he knew I was helping him. He knew it was his only chance. He wouldn’t have been able to get that off himself. I was struggling.”

After a brief struggle, which included lifting the 25-pound animal off the ground by the cup, the skunk broke free and fled.

Krasuin said the fit between the cup lid and the skunk’s head was so tight, she was sure it would have starved and possibly suffocated.

And she said the incident highlights the very real impacts that plastic pollution can have in our communities.

“With our consumer lifestyle, it seems so unimportant to us. ‘It’s just a cup, we just need to throw it away,’” she said.

“But something so minor to us is deadly to somebody else. I just hope that people see that video and they go throw away a Starbucks cup or a Tim Horton’s Iced Cap cup — because that’s what it was similar to — I hope they just take the lid off. It’s just sad.”

As for stepping in to take a potentially stinky risk that few of her peers would have?

“I’m a huge animal lover. I have a dog that I just adore, and when it comes to animals, I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t do,” she said.

“What’s the worst thing that could happen? I could smell for a couple of days.”

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