VERNON HILLS, Ill. — For skunks roaming free in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills these are the best of times and the worst of times.

Thanks to mild weather that allowed more skunks to survive the winter and a wet spring that’s created a smorgasbord of fruit and grubs, there’s a small army of the smelly critters frolicking all over the community. And that’s prompted the village to put a bounty of sorts on their heads.

To help residents pay for professional trappers whose services can run about $200, Vernon Hills is offering them $75 for each skunk that trappers capture and remove from their property.

Neighboring communities shouldn’t worry about relocated skunks. Village Manager John Kalmar says skunks — carriers of diseases and parasites — are destroyed in accordance with state law.

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