Skunk stuck on US 60 in Mesa eludes troopers

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Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT) Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT)
Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT) Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT)
Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT) Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT)
Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT) Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT)
Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT) Click image to enlarge. (Source: ADOT)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Traffic on U.S. 60 took a potentially stinky turn Monday morning.

A skunk was spotted on the westbound side between Dobson and Alma School roads in Mesa shortly before 9 a.m.

We have no idea from where Pepe LePew -- or perhaps it's Flower -- came or how he wound up on the freeway, but scanner traffic indicated that he was stuck in a storm drain.

Watching the traffic cam, we could see that he was moving but he was not leaving that spot.

[SLIDESHOW: Operation #skunkbgone]

[LATEST PHOTO: ADOT traffic cam 0929 (refreshes every few seconds)]

By the way, ADOT seems to be pretty sure it was not Pepe out there.

The Department of Public Safety sent out a couple of troopers to help the little dude. We're fairly certain those troopers were advised to approach the situation with caution; a skunk, which is generally about the size of a house cat when grown, can spray something it deems a threat from as far as 10 feet away. 

Because the skunk's head was stuck, his business end was free to aim and fire, which is what a skunk does when he's scared, as this guy most likely was. (Who wouldn't be, stuck on a freeway with cars whizzing by at 70 mph?)

Smells like drama

Hundreds of people watched the situation unfold live on Facebook, and, of course, commented, and even more watched the video when all was said and done.

The troopers dropped a blanket over the stuck stinker and then tried to use a shovel to scoop him into a bucket. That, however, seemed to give the skunk the impetus he needed to get himself loose.

[WATCH: The takedown]

"The skunk eluded troopers down the storm drain when they tried to safely capture it in a bucket," ADOT tweeted with the hashtag #skunkbgone.

Troopers did not initiate a pursuit.

While we don't know for sure how long the skunk was stuck, it was about 15 minutes from the time we spotted him to when he managed to make his Houdini-like escape.

And the inevitable skunk joke

In case you're wondering why the skunk didn't use his phone to call for help, Comedy Cental has the answer.

"It was out of odor!"

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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