A Skunk And A Peanut Butter Jar

Formerly Known As, And Seen Below, As The Skunk Whisperer

The following story occurred in Oklahoma when Ned Bruha was working there several years ago. Viewers loved this story and it quickly gained national attention, including on CNN and the Bonnie Hunt Show. This little fellow captured the hearts of America, but the story also brought attention to humane methods and how government regulations can influence the steps that need to be taken when it comes to rescuing and controlling wildlife.

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The Story Behind The Peanut Butter Jar Skunk

Once upon a time there was a hungry skunk who went on a journey to find something good to eat. Imagine his excitement when he discovered a tasty jar of peanut butter. But this presented a challenge, the only way he could reach the yummy peanut butter at the bottom of the jar was to stick his head all the way inside. But once his head went inside he could not get it back out. Our skunk now found his head completely stuck in the peanut butter jar he'd once been so happy to find - quite the predicament indeed. Eventually, a nice lady came across the frustrated skunk and called Ned Bruha for help.

the original news story video about the skunk with the peanut butter jar stuck on his head

After some phone calls to the proper authorities Ned was able to obtain the required permission to remove the jar and set the skunk free. Some gentle handling and the skunk was soon freed and on his way home.

The story was filmed by KOTV in Tulsa and was quickly picked up by both national and international news, and was seen on The CBS Morning Show, CNN, BBC and other media sources around the world. The response was staggering with input pouring in from across the globe. Many viewers wondered why there had been a delay in removing the jar, causing concern and even a parody skit on the Bonnie Hunt show.

Ned Bruha talks about his call in appearance on the Bonnie Hunt show

Why Things Were Done The Way They Were: To some viewers it appeared that the skunk was not rescued as promptly as it should have been, for instance, the Bonnie Hunt Show was initially critical of Ned for not postponing his interview until after the peanut butter jar had been removed and the skunk was freed from his predicament. However, it is important for viewers to understand that the rescue process could not take place until special permission had been received from the state of Oklahoma. Consequently, most of the filming and interview were conducted while Ned Bruha was waiting for this permission from the state, a process which took approximately one hour. The special permission was required from the state because Oklahoma laws normally mandate death or relocation of the skunk in such situations. Although Ned and the person who requested help wanted to simply remove the jar and let the skunk go, they could not do so before receiving state permission or Bruha could have lost his state permit to practice wildlife control. If the skunk had been transported to a wildlife rehabilitator with the jar on his head, the situation would have become even more stressful for the skunk and it would have sprayed those around him. As the situation turned out, permission was received, Ned was able to gently calm down the flustered skunk with chloroform, release it from the jar and everybody walked away happy - including the skunk. Local station KOTV also ran a follow up story explaining why the rescue of the skunk had to be delayed.

One of our most popular media stories, the skunk with the peanut butter jar stuck on his head was also featured in an episode on Animal Planet's Weird, True and Freaky. Although Ned commented "it was less dramatic in person than it appeared on the show."

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