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Skunks take Manhattan

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Move over Pepe Le Pew. Life is imitating art in upper Manhattan where residents say smelly skunks are taking over.

"They just come out. There will be just like three or four of them hanging out in the park," one local said. "They're everywhere."

Recent YouTube videos show a skunk in Washington Heights and one in Fort Tryon Park. Their presence has become so common that long-time local Bob O'Brien has a come up with a foolproof way to shoo them: whistles.

Residents here in Hudson Heights say these skunks are bolder, faster and smarter than they were last year. At first they were in Fort Tryon Park, not bothering anyone, and now they say they're spilling into the streets, locals said.

The city admits skunks have become a problem in northern Manhattan. Despite complaints, city officials say they won't trap a skunk unless it is acting sick or unusual; in that case, they'll test it for rabies.

Healthy skunks are pretty harmless until they spray you, according to Dr. Greg Nelson.

"The liquid is quite tough to get off your skin, it's really noxious, you won't make friends easily," he said. "And it may stay with you a couple of days."

But not everyone in town minds smell or the furry critters.

"They're good looking little things and I hear they make good pets when they're deskunked," one person said.

The city said the No. 1 way to minimize the skunk population is to tie up your garbage.

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