The Skunks’ Saga

Another museum blog post. This time it’s the saga of the museum’s pet skunks.

The Pink Palace

In October 1955, a de-scented skunk was donated to the museum for use in educational children’s programs. Mrs. Bush, the museum director, held a contest at the first children’s program of the season to name the skunk. The Museum Advisory Board chose Holmes Ryan’s suggestion of Rosebud as the winner, and he was given a copy of The Golden Treasury of Natural History as his prize.

Rosebud lived in a cage on the museum yard, but she escaped in March 1956. A story and picture ran in the Press-Scimitar newspaper that Charley Scott found a tame skunk in his East Memphis backyard. When Raymond Gray, the superintendent of the Memphis Zoo, saw the skunk’s picture in the paper, he  said it was probably a pet and told Mrs. Bush about the animal. She went to Scott’s house to pick up Rosebud “by the scruff of the neck and head back…

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