by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

According to Google, the hottest topic on the web right now is the world’s smelliest animal. We have no idea why — but now we know that we never want to get within a half-mile of the African Striped Polecat; aka the Zorrilla, Zorilla, or Zoril. It’s smell is that strong.

So potent are the scent glands on this little skunk-like critter, that predators know well in advance not to venture anywhere near it. Besides emitting “foul-smelling secretions from its anal glands”, it also enjoys playing dead and climbing trees.

So there’s your random animal fact of the day. Just be thankful that our own skunks didn’t come with this nasty warning system.

UPDATE: Ah, now we know why people are interested in this little guy. Jack Hanna had one on Letterman last night — supposedly the only one in North America. Check out the video after the jump below. Thanks for the tip, Nashveggie!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • http://blog.nashveggie.com Nashveggie

    The reason it’s the hottest topic? Jack Hanna was on David Letterman last night with one. The only one, he said, in North America.

  • http://www.animaladvocates.us Mary Cummins

    It’s a spotted skunk. We have tens of thousands of them in North America. I rescue spotted skunks. They smell as bad as a regular striped skunk. Jack called it a “zorilla.” In Spanish skunks are called “zorillos.” Jack was a little confused.