"Adorable" is the right word for it. A wildlife camera in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California captured charming footage of a bouncy coyote escorting a waddling badger through a tunnel crossing.
The Peninsula Open Space Trust shared the video on Tuesday. The group said badger sightings are uncommon and "seeing one with a coyote moving through a small space like this is unusual." The coyote jumps around in a playful manner and appears to be waiting for the badger to follow it.
The nonprofit trust is dedicated to land and wildlife conservation. This work includes studying wildlife crossings with the aim of protecting animals from vehicles. The motion-sensor camera is one in a large network used to monitor wildlife activity in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The interspecies acquaintanceship fits with known behavior patterns for both animals. Coyotes and badgers have been observed hunting together. A 1992 study suggests their hunting skills complement each other and help both critters catch more prey.
"It's a real treat when we get videos like this that show some personality and remind us of the relationships between wild animals and how playful they can be," the trust said.
Here's hoping Pixar is paying attention. We need a short film dedicated to this fluffy duo.