A Vancouver skunk that had a plastic cup lid wedged into its neck has been released back into the "urban wild" after it was successfully rescued and treated.
The skunk, nicknamed Bubbles by its caregivers, underwent surgery in November after volunteers saw the animal in distress, rescued it and took it to the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Burnaby.
On Wednesday night, Bubbles was released, fully recovered, into a small. wooded area in the city's West End. The skunk scurried out of an animal carrier into the rainy night.
Local residents had first spotted Bubbles six weeks ago with a dome-shaped clear plastic cup lid stuck around its neck.
Part of the lid had become embedded in the skunk’s neck, which had become badly cut and infected. It was presumed Bubbles had stuck its head through the lid while it was still attached to a cup in order to get the liquid inside.
Bubbles' ordeal provides a lesson, said volunteer Drina Read.
"The most important thing I've learned about this story is that the plastic cup lids are just deadly to small animals," Read said.
She said she hopes people stop using plastic lids and beer collars or break them apart before discarding them.