An SUV owned by the New Zealand conservation company Goodnature had its window smashed so that thieves could gain access to a box labeled as chemicals.
But instead of the meth-cooking chemicals they were hoping for, the thieves made off with horribly pungent oil from the anal glands of the stoat, a short-tailed weasel.
The oil is so offensively pervasive that when it was unleashed in Goodnature’s lab, staff had to work from home for days afterward.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the box was in the back seat of Goodnature’s ute — one of Australia’s car/truck hybrids — because stoats are considered an invasive species in New Zealand. Goodnature produces the A24 self-resetting trap used specifically to kill the offending creatures.
The company had 16 vials of the varmint’s vile vapor to use as a lure for other stoats that the government hopes to eradicate from the island nation.
Because the box was clearly marked as chemicals, the company’s director, Robbie van Dam told the New Zealand Herald that he surmised that burglars thought they had happened upon a stash of materials for making meth.
The stink unleashed by opening the vials would be epic, in van Dam’s assessment. “Stoat anal gland oil is extremely smelly stuff and it lingers on any fabric or surface,” he said.
Just a few drops of the substance on clothing or the cloth interior of a car would render it revolting for weeks.
“We popped a gland in our lab a couple of years ago during research,” van Dam told the Herald.
“We had fans running and windows open in the middle of a Wellington winter, and it still took weeks to go. Some staff chose to work from home for a couple of days.”
The oil was so potent it was in the process of being moved off-site for storage.
A word to the wise for Americans protecting their cars: Don’t leave your boxes marked “Chemicals” on the seat, but if you do, make sure they’re filled with skunk stink.