Skunk spotted frolicking in the grounds of Colchester Hospital may be escaped pet, says RSPCA

The skunk was seen at Colchester Hospital Credit: Abbie Dix

A skunk has been spotted frolicking in the grounds of a hospital .

Abbie Dix noticed the animal jumping around just behind her car in the hospital's car park.

She said: "He was happily exploring for about five minutes. I managed to take a few photos and video."

Ms Dix had taken her brother to A&E at Colchester Hospital in Essex after he broke his collarbone. She added: "A&E was busy and I waited by my car for him. I couldn't believe this!"

The skunk was spotted in the car park Credit: Abbie Dix

The RSPCA said skunks are native to north and central America.

They are wild animals but they are sometimes kept and traded as pets in the UK.

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “In recent years the RSPCA has dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet skunks that have escaped or been deliberately released to the wild.

"It is an offence to release them, or allow them to escape, into the wild because they are not a native species to the UK.

"We don’t believe their needs can be met in a typical household environment, and we feel that skunks shouldn’t be kept as pets."

  • Watch Abbie Dix's video

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know