The Story Behind The Peanut Butter Jar Skunk
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.
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."