In early August, Wildlife Watch received a call about a skunk with a yogurt cup stuck to its face. Fourteen-year-old Ali Khalil, who spotted the skunk from his window, tried to pull the cup off the skunk’s face, but to no avail. Khalil has since confessed that he doesn’t like skunks. But he didn’t want to see the little guy die, so he called for help after Googling “wildlife help.”
Anne and Peter Muller, who operate Wildlife Watch — a New Paltz-based wildlife protection organization — showed up at Khalil’s home with olive oil, a turkey baster and steel mesh gloves. While Peter held the skunk, Anne drizzled the olive oil around the rim of the yogurt cup and pulled. “The cup popped off almost immediately and Peter released the skunk,” said Anne. “Fortunately, the skunk ran into the woods without looking back to say ‘thank you’.”
On Thursday, Oct. 10, Wildlife Watch presented its 2013 humane award to Khalil, a New Paltz High School student. New Paltz town supervisor Susan Zimet attended the event and gave a speach to honor Khalil’s compassion for an animal in distress.