A wildlife hospital got a surprise when a skunk was brought in.
The mammal was found by a vet near some stables in west Wiltshire on Thursday who took it to the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital near Salisbury.
The animals are native to the Americas and are infamous for their smelly spray.
However, Marilyn Korkis, who works at the hospital, said the animal did not shower its rescuers and had since been reunited with its owner.
It had escaped from its home several days ago but had suffered in the freezing conditions.
Ms Korkis, said when they first received a call from the vet asking them “what on earth it was”, it had sounded like a cross between a mink and a ferret.
“After studying a photo which was sent through we were still none the wiser,” she said.
“But it was clear the animal wasn’t well so we agreed to take it in as they were at a loss as to what to do with it.”
It was only after it arrived at the hospital that Ms Korkis said they realised it was a leucistic pet skunk.
“It was clearly suffering from a chill caught during the cold weekend,” she said.
“But he didn’t spray us and although they have a smell about them it’s not unpleasant.”
Within hours of the animal arriving, the centre said it received a “desperate phone call” and the skunk was reunited with its owner.
“She collected it straight away, then whisked it off to her vet for an examination,” said Ms Korkis.
“Fingers crossed he was alright after his ordeal.”