HODGDON, Maine — For some children, going back to school after a fun-filled summer vacation stinks.
Such was the case for students at Hodgdon Middle-High School this week, but it had little to do with returning to the classrooms.
Sometime Tuesday evening, Sept. 3, a skunk infiltrated the school when a back door to the gymnasium was left open, according to Superintendent and high school Principal Stephen Fitzpatrick. Luckily the skunk did not spray while in the school.
“One of our custodians had gone out to take some trash to the dumpster and had a visitor sneak in,” Fitzpatrick said Thursday afternoon. “He made himself at home underneath the bleachers, and we had to call the game wardens to help set up a live trap.”
The traps were not successful Tuesday evening, so school officials had no choice but to close off the gymnasium to prevent the animal from getting into the rest of the building. Students held gym class outside Wednesday.
On the school’s Facebook page, the district had some fun with the critter, stating “apparently he hadn’t heard that the Hawks never get ‘skunked’ in this gym.” Three videos of the animal are also featured on the website. The videos also show Fitzpatrick crawling on his knees trying to coax the skunk out from its hiding place.
Additional traps were brought in Wednesday evening, and this time the animal was safely captured. The video showing the animal being removed from the building came with the caption “The Hawks defeated the Skunk this morning without incident. We benched the ‘skunk whisperer’ and brought in a professional to win the matchup. All clear, the gym is open and our friendly opponent is back at his home field.”
Fitzpatrick said in his “40-plus” years of working in the educational field, he had thought he had seen just about everything.
“This was the first time I have ever encountered a situation where we had to remove a skunk,” he said.
This story originally appeared on The County.