The skunk kicking up a stink on his walks in Silloth

  • Video report by Matt Taylor.

An animal lover from Silloth has turned a few heads in his hometown after taking an unusual creature for a stroll on the high street.

Niffler is a rescued North American skunk and, despite his smelly reputation, seems very sociable on his walks around the seaside town in Cumbria.

Sophie Hillary, 24, and Liam Tannerm, 23, took on Niffler as part of their not-for-profit Exotic Animal Rescue - Our Cozy Creatures.

Niffler has lived with the couple since June last year when he was just six weeks old and they have hand-reared him ever since.

He shares the rescue centre with two turtles, a corn snake, a bearded dragon, a pole cat, three baby mice, five cats, a dwarf hamster and two dogs - who are all waiting for new homes.

Niffler regularly goes out for walks in Silloth. Credit: ITV News

The black-and-white skunk has become a local celebrity. Liam said: "The main smell would be if he sprays but luckily that's just a defence mechanism and he's quite happy in our home so we've only had to deal with that once in the year that we've had him."

"It has been crazy and there are times when you are pulling your hair out thinking 'I just need a bit of space.

"But over all it's a fantastic experience to know that we are making a difference and we are giving these animals a future and the life that they deserve."

The animals, which have been donated by owners who can no longer look after them, will eventually go to good homes. But the couple hopes that after the coronavirus outbreak, he might take them to schools and other places for educational purposes..

Liam says it is really difficult to keep exotic animals in Britain and advises people to think very carefully before buying.

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