Beyond the call, er smell, of duty: Officer, Good Samaritans save skunk caught in a shake chapeau

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This image is from another skunk-McFlurry cup encounter, which can end tragically; inset Rochester Police Officer Keith MacKenzie who helped free the little guy. (Courtesy photos)

2017© ROCHESTER - When Rochester Police Officer Keith MacKenzie was coming down Chestnut Hill Road toward Wakefield Street last week and saw a car parked in the middle of the road in front of Wendy's with its flashers on, he knew something was wrong.

It was last Thursday around 11:15 p.m., so it could've been anything: a pedestrian or car accident, or a medical emergency, but it wasn't any of those.

It was a skunk running around with a McFlurry cup on its head.

"I got out and the lady had gotten out of her car and was frantic," said MacKenzie adding the woman was absolutely adamant about helping the furry little critter. "She said, 'We've got to help this guy.'"

MacKenzie said the white-striped critter was having a hard time navigating his way.

"He was running all around, sometimes right into the curbing," MacKenzie said.

Another Good Samaritan soon stopped to help, bringing with him a snow shovel with which they tried to slip the McFlurry cup of the skunk's snout.

The skunk became frightened however, and began scampering toward Route 125, so the lady grabbed a coat and began trying to snare the critter so he wouldn't get crunched in traffic.

"She was like a matador out there with the coat," MacKenzie recalled.

After several minutes they were able to get close enough to pry the bottom of the McFlurry cup off, after which he was finally able to dislodge the rest, himself.

The last they saw of him he was happily heading into the woods behind Midas Muffler, said MacKenzie, who credited the woman whose name he didn't get with being the driving force to free the varmint from his milk shake chapeau.

"I was just surprised he didn't spray us," MacKenzie said last night.

Unfortunately, the lids of McFlurry cups have caused trouble to lots of skunks, some of whom have died unable to get them off.

"It's those domed heads," MacKenzie said.

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