If Disney is interested in making yet another movie about interspecies friendships, boy, do we have an idea.
On Monday, Russ McSpadden, a creative media specialist for the Center for Biological Diversity, posted an adorable video on Twitter from the nonprofit Peninsula Open Space Trust in Palo Alto, California, of a coyote and badger who look as if they’re about to embark on an epic adventure.
The viral video, shot at night, shows the coyote and a badger using a tunnel together. During the 13 seconds of pure adorableness, the playful coyote seems to try to coax the distracted badger to hurry up and follow it into the dark tunnel. The two then walk into the tunnel together, exhibiting a familiarity with one another that would make the viewer think they’re the best of friends.
On Tuesday, after the video had already gone viral on Twitter, POST added the video to its Twitter and Facebook accounts, stating that it was captured on one of its wildlife cameras and was “the first time this type of behavior has been captured in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
The organization added that scientists have “found both species benefit by hunting together.”
And it seems that the hunting partnership between the wild predators actually has legs.
A study published in the Journal of Mammalogy in 1992 found that coyotes hunting with badgers for ground squirrels were more successful than lone coyotes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also confirmed the odd alliance in 2016, adding that each animal brings a unique skill to the hunt, which also includes preying on prairie dogs.
“Studies have shown that this unusual relationship is beneficial for both species,” the federal agency wrote. “The coyote can chase down prey if it runs and the badger can dig after prey if it heads underground into its burrow systems.”
So, on second thought, maybe the viral video would make a better horror movie pitch than a Disney one.
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