PRINCE Charles might have welcomed some unusual visitors to his Herefordshire estate but few can have left their mark like his latest guest.

Workers at the Woodlands Farm estate in Harewood End had a smelly surprise after a skunk was found unharmed in a humane animal trap. It was not long before the bushy-tailed creature secreted the foul-smelling fluid it carries as a defence against predators – causing two estate workers to be sick.

“One of the gamekeepers found it in a squirrel cage and we put it in a bigger one with some straw,” said Paul Mason, who is working on the Duchy of Cornwall estate with a team of builders.

The omnivore was described as the size of a cat and, despite hissing and stamping its feet, did not lose its appetite.

“It had a ham sandwich and seemed to like it,” said Mr Mason, who lives at Madley.

The skunk was collected by the RSPCA on Tuesday and taken to a foster home.

“The animal was very frightened and dirty and has been taken to a lady who keeps ferrets and has a few skunks,” said Judith Haw, RSPCA press officer.

It is unknown how the skunk, which is not native to Britain, managed to find itself in Herefordshire. Anyone claiming it should contact Sally Tarpey of the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.