Escape artist skunk running wild in UK countryside sparks frenzied hunt

A Harry Houdini skunk has broken free from a a farm full of exotic animals in the UK.

Michele Cooper is worried sick about little black and white Barney who she says has struggled to settle since she upped sticks and moved from Hertfordshire to Kentisbeare, Devon.

Since raising the alarm, Michele says she's had reports of two-year-old Barney being spotted six miles away but she's failed to get to the sighting in time, DevonLive reports.

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It's now been almost a week since the unusual escape artist decided to embark on an adventure, leaving behind fields of camels, meerkats and emus.

"He is very friendly but will be scared, he has never bitten anyone or sprayed them," Michele wrote on Facebook.

Due to the move, Barney was said to have been unsettled and managed to flee his enclosure last Sunday, July 16. Despite numerous sightings being reported to Michele, she has so far been unable to get there in time to catch him.

He is said to have travelled a distance now of six miles away. Last night, July 21, Michele says she was called by around 10 people who confirmed sightings in the same area, but again she was unsuccessful in finding him.

Barney is described as very friendly and Michele says that if he was to see her, she would be able to entice him to come back towards her.

Recalling how he escaped, she said: "We've moved his enclosure but he was that unsettled he found a way out. He’s never escaped before.

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"We have been getting reports of lots of regular sightings of him. We go out most nights but have just literally missed him every time we get there. He has now gone about six miles so is still local.

"We have had Barney for about two years. He was given to us to rehome because we have a fair amount of exotic animals such as camels, meerkats and all sorts. We have just the one skunk.

"We have not just moved house, we have also moved farms, so you can imagine that was quite stressful in itself and it has been even more so with Barney disappearing."

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