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Going Wild: Pepe the SkunkUPDATED 7:41 AM HST Jul 12, 2014Video Transcript
MUSIC 2 C1 Meet Pepe -- a north american skunk with a bold white strip and friendly attitude. But keeping him as a pet -- not the best idea right? Keepers say we've got it all wrong. Nancy 11:31 "HE'S A LOT EASIER THAN MY DOG. BUT THAT'S OKAY HAHA" 11:35 Keeper Nancy Leong has been training Pepe since he was 10 weeks old. She says at first he was skittish but now allows her to carry and harnest him. Nancy 20:26 "FOR ANY PERSON THAT WORKS WITH ANIMALS TO SEE HOW MUCH HE TRUSTS YOU IS TRULY AN AWARD ITSELF." 20:33 She says there are 11 different species of skunks, mostly found in North America. They are nocturnal eaters surviving on plants, insects and even small mammals. Standup Ashley 25:10 "IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT PEPE'S HANDS HIS NAILS ARE EXTREMELY LONG THAT'S BECAUSE THEY USE THEM TO DIG UP INSECTS IN THE GROUND." 25:18 Keepers call it forging. They tend to dig about 3-inches into the ground. But it's the way these guys fend off attackers that people are most curious about -- asking keepers if they spray their offensive odor just for fun! The answer: Nancy 15:49 "THE ARE PRETTY MUCH FORCED TO SPRAY BUT THAT'S WITH ANY ANIMAL. IF YOU BACK THEM UP INTO A CORNER, YOU WILL GET SPRAYED." 15:56 The spray is a mix of a strong liquid stored in two glands. If you get up close and personal with Pepe -- keepers say there's no need to worry those glands have been removed. Ashley Moser -- KITV 4 News. Here in Hawaii it is illegal to have a skunk as a pet.... but Honolulu Zoo keepers says Pepe is serving as an ambassador for his species -- giving island keiki an opportunity to learn more about the mainland animal.