Where there is trouble, there’s likely a Milwaukee bus driver not too far away who has received the bat signal. This time, it was Bob Ervin. He rescued a little skunk who got a yogurt cup stuck on its head.
“It was four in the morning and I saw it with the container on its head, not sure what it was, so I pulled over my bus, I had just started my shift and went to try and help it,” Ervin told Inside Edition Digital.
But he couldn’t find a stick or anything nearby to help pry it off.
“I thought, maybe I’ll just grab it with my hand and then I thought twice and thought my hand would be awful close. My son in the past had been bitten and had to have rabies shots, so I wanted no part of that. No,” he laughed.
Ervin had to leave and continue driving on his route. On his way back, he noticed the skunk was still in the same position.
“Then I felt guilty because it had been two hours and I didn’t do anything the first time,” Ervin said. “At my layover, I have a restroom stop. There's a 24-hour Walgreens store, so I stop there and started thinking, ‘What could I get?’ And I thought of the little reachers that people use.”
Ervin told the lone passenger on his bus he’d be right back, and hopped off to free the skunk.
“I tried to grab it from the side of the cup. Then the poor animal just panicked not knowing what’s going on and put its paws down into the ground as I was trying to pull,” he described.
Thus began their small duel.
“Apparently they can’t see it on camera, but it came toward me and I was kinda going back and just saying, ‘whoa whoa whoa. I just saved you, don’t spray me or come at me.' And it came to the edge of the median and stopped,” Ervin said.
“And I remember seeing its mouth, and seeing the eyes. And I didn’t know if it was saying 'get away from me,' or 'thank you.' But I wanna believe in my brain it was saying thank you because I didn’t get sprayed,” he continued.
Ervin stated this is one of the reasons why people should not litter.
For this deed, Ervin has earned himself a new nickname at work. He says instead of “Pepper Bob,” in honor of his love of hot peppers, some of his co-workers are calling him “Skunk Man.”
This isn’t the first time Ervin has done something of this nature. He says he once helped some people who were afraid of a stray dog.
“I had people that were hiding in the bus shelter that needed my bus and I said, ‘you know what? I’ll distract them because I’m not worried about it,' and threw the dog my lunch.”
It seems like Milwaukee County Transit bus drivers are always up to something good, whether that means saving children, spending their own money to help community members, or rescuing animals.
“I think it’s the feeling that the world just needs more love and we’re all human, we’re all connected, animals, whichever ... It was a poor animal who wasn’t doing anything wrong, wasn’t harassing anybody in someone’s yard, he was just trying to live and made the mistake," he said. "It just needed a hand.”