by Jeff Dunn, Copy Editor

Two students ran into a smelly surprise Wednesday night while they were walking to Stuen.

Sophomores Joe Simpson and Dylan Harm were walking through Red Square around 11:30 p.m. when they saw an animal scampering towards the Hauge Administration Building.

“It was so exciting,” Simpson said. “We couldn’t not follow it! We’d never seen one on the campus before.”                Simpson and Harm followed the skunk all the way to the Admin building.

As they closed in on the skunk, they could taste something awful in the air, Simpson said. He described it as “pure anger and death.” Before long, the smell had been picked up by a light breeze and was noticeable three to four blocks away from the Admin building, Simpson said.

Simpson and Harm immediately knew that they had been sprayed and ran back to Stuen to change clothes and shower.

“I think we were too far away to be directly sprayed,” Simpson said. “But when that spray entered the air, it just immediately soaked into my clothes.”

Neither Simpson nor Harm felt the need to report the skunk to Campus Safety. Simpson he said he wasn’t worried that it would harass any other students.

“We didn’t really think we should tell Campus Safety,” Simpson said. “We figured, if we did, they’d just be on skunk-hunt-duty, and that sounds like the worst job in the world. Besides, it’s not going to hurt anyone.”

A campus safety representative said no one else had reported any run-ins with the skunk. But, they urge Pacific Lutheran University students to come to them whenever there is a problem.

Campus safety has no set policy regarding wild non-threatening animals. Crows on campus are the only wild animals students usually have to deal with. Director of Campus Safety, Greg Premo said they would treat a skunk situation the same way.

“From time to time, crows will dive bomb people to scare them away from their nests,” Premo said. “We would place a few signs up in the area as a warning to pedestrians that there is a skink in the area but we would not try to trap them or anything.”

If the skunk decided to make PLU its permanent residence, the policy might be different. If the skunk makes a home somewhere on campus that impacts students, staff or faculty, Campus safety would consult with Pierce County Animal Control or a private pest removal service to see what strategies they could use to remove the animal.

For now, the students and the skunk are safe and sound.

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