Beloved pet at Delaware Mine passes away

Keweenaw County — If you’ve heard anything about the Delaware Mine, it may have something to do with the pet skunks the owners keep in the gift shop. Last week, beloved skunk Oreo passed away.

Mine owners and operators Tom and Lani Poynter say they have kept skunks for fifteen years and they always have a male named Oreo and a female named Snickers. This is the third Oreo that has died, but he was a skunk to remember.

“Well, Oreo was unusual, all skunks are unusual, to be able to come up and see them, pet them and hold them. He had a personality, you know, he would cuddle up to you, he would let you hold him in your arms, he would sit in everyone’s lap. He was a great little skunk,” said Owner and Operator of Delaware Mine Tom Poynter.

The Copper Country is taking the loss of the friendly face hard. Residents are sharing their memories of Oreo on Facebook and with the Poynters. However, the Poynters are hoping to get Oreo the fourth soon.

Poynter said “We will replace with another baby, which we hope to get in a couple of days. We’ll raise him the same way so hopefully he’ll follow in Oreo’s footsteps and be great spoke-skunk for the mine.”

Until the new Oreo is old enough to be around people, they are training their year-old skunk Snickers to be good around visitors.