Why did the coyote and the badger cross the road?
Peninsula Open Space Trust and Pathways for Wildlife recently had to ask that same question when its wildlife cameras captured rare footage of a coyote and a badger working together to cross a California highway.
The adorable video, posted online by the organizations on Tuesday, shows the wild animals on what appears to be a hunting excursion. As the coyote approaches a tunnel set up for wildlife to bypass the busy road, the creature turns around and gestures to the badger — who wanders up to the entrance of the underground pathway.
“This might be the best thing you see all day!” POST, a conservation group based in Northern California, wrote on Facebook. “Our wildlife cameras spotted a coyote and badger traveling together — the first time this type of behavior has been captured in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Pathways for Wildlife, which works to connect fragmented habitats for wildlife conservation, shared the footage on their Facebook page, “We are excited to share this new footage of data we collected with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) on the Southern Santa Cruz Mtns Wildlife Connectivity study we are conducting with them. Badgers have been known to hunt with coyotes but to travel with them through a highway culvert is an exciting new find! Who do you think was following who?”
The cute clip has since gone viral, even capturing the attention of famous animal lovers.
The Avengers star Chris Evans responded to the video on Twitter, writing, “I’m choosing to believe that the coyote sounds like Michael J. Fox and the badger sounds like Sam Elliot and they’re best friends on an adventure.”
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, it is not uncommon for coyotes to partner up with a badger while on a hunt as each animal brings a unique skill set that the other does not possess. The coyote is adept at chasing, while a badger can easily dig underground should its prey head into a burrow.
Coyotes and badgers tend to work in tandem to hunt prairie dogs and ground squirrels.