A Red Deer garbage man has been picking up trash for more than six years, and he has never come across a live animal in the garbage.
On Dec. 20, that changed. That’s when Marc Sinclair found a skunk trapped in a garbage bag. He posted a video on his Facebook timeline where he is seen freeing the animal.
“I grabbed a particular bag and it felt like there was a cage in it. So I threw it in the truck, as people put away cages all the time, but it just felt a little wrong, so I decided to investigate.
“So I tore the bag open and it turned out the skunk was alive and scared and freaked out,” Sinclair said Sunday.
“It wasn’t making noise or anything.”
In the many years of doing the job, the city contractor has come across dead animals, but never a live one.
The garbage bag picked up on Ayers Avenue in Anders, was closed, but it was not sealed shut.
The 36-year-old could not tell how long the animal had been caged and bagged.
Sinclair is all for hunting, but being left in a cage inside a garbage truck would be a “horrible way to go,” he said.
“To be crushed slowly and suffocated in the garbage truck is extremely, extremely inhumane and brutal and that was not cool, so I wasn’t about to do that to the thing, that’s why I also reported it (to animal services),” he said.
But it was not a short process, and Sinclair was at work, so he decided to let what he calls Mr. Skunk go.
Marilyn Moore, waste diversion specialist with the City of Red Deer, said the incident was unique and was handled well.
“It’s something that hasn’t happened that I’m aware of in the past, so there’s no procedure, but the little guy was released and all was well, and we’re happy that happened,” she said.
After Sinclair opened the cage, the skunk did not leave right away.
“He wasn’t quite sure what was going on. It looked scared, so I had to give him some space, and once he realized he was well, then he got out of the cage and scurried off into the bushes,” he said.