Manitoba Mounties free skunk by pulling Tim Hortons cup from its head

It's a distinctly Canadian tale: A skunk is free after two Manitoba Mounties pull a Tim Hortons cup off its head.

'Poke your head out,' officer outfitted in protective gear orders

It's a distinctly Canadian tale: A skunk is free after two Manitoba Mounties pull a Tim Hortons cup off its head.

It happened in Winnipegosis, Man., around two weeks ago when the officers saw the tiny creature struggling.

"One of the constables said the skunk looked a little weak … Vision obstructed but was not running away … It looked a little thin," said Sgt. Bert Paquet, a spokesperson with the RCMP in Manitoba.

"[They] just couldn't drive away without doing something."

'Poke your head out,' 

In what Paquet describes as a well-planned, tactical approach, one officer suited up in protective gear used for chemical attacks.

"He said, 'If I'm going to be the one in charge of removing the cup, there is no way I'm going there without protective gear.' Obviously, he's the one exposed to the stinky risk of the whole operation," Paquet said.

The other officer covered the skunk with a yellow tarp.

"Poke your head out," one of the officers ordered.

The operation failed at first but on the second try, the Mounties managed to pull the cup from the skunk's head before charging in opposite directions, away from the animal.

"We did it! We saved a skunk," one of them yelled.

'We saved its life!" the other replied.

"I think the guys were high-fiving each other all the way to the office," Paquet said, laughing.

'You never know what you're going to get'

According to Paquet, the situation is a reminder that law enforcement officers can never be sure what they will end up dealing with on a day-to-day basis.

"In this particular case, everything turned out well. But, you can tell from the voice, the expressions and the demeanour of the two officers, it is not something we do on a regular basis and definitely something they were not comfortable with," he said.

And, Paquet said, there is a lesson for the skunk here, too.

"At the end of the day, a lot of good satisfaction for saving [its life]. Hopefully, next time it wants to spray someone, it will think about it."

with files from Caroline Barghout