Too stinkin' cute: Virginia Zoo welcomes new animal ambassador, 9-month-old skunk 'Chonk'

Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 13:04:35-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Zoo recently welcomed a new animal ambassador who's sure to become a social media scent-sation.

"Chonk," a nine-month-old striped skunk, was rescued with his siblings just two days after being born in May 2021. Since he was rescued and raised by humans, Chonk is unable to be released into the wild and has been neutered and descented.

Before he arrived at the Zoo in early 2022, the Zoo's veterinarian reviewed his medical records and informed zookeepers that Chonk was overweight at 3.40 kilograms or around 7.4 pounds — hence his name.

To help him lose weight, Chonk is on a specialized diet that will be slowly decreased over time. Chonk also voluntarily trains with keepers to help him get to his ideal weight.

The Zoo is encouraging the public to “Get Fit with Chonk” every other week this Spring by following #getfitwithchonk on Instagram to stay up to date on his weigh-ins. Keepers say his Instagram will show his workout regimen and training sessions, including an exercise wheel and enrichment activities to keep him active.

Chonk currently lives behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s Program Animal Building, but will soon make appearances on Zoo grounds for education programs.