Camera Catches Coyote And Badger Friends Traveling Together
"I was speechless."
Nothing’s better than traveling with a buddy. That’s what an unlikely pair of animals roaming the Santa Cruz Mountains discovered late last year.
A motion-activated camera caught a coyote and his badger friend crossing a busy highway. The cameras were set up as part of a three-year study by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Pathways for Wildlife on how wildlife interact with roadways.
When Neal Sharma, who leads the team of researchers, first saw the footage, he was stunned.
“This is the kind of interaction that someone like me can only dream of,” Sharma told The Dodo. “I was speechless just to see this kind of interspecies relationship.”
Coyotes and badgers are known to partner together when hunting — each one supplying a set of skills that the other lacks. A coyote’s agility and speed and the badger’s expert digging help to make each outing successful.
“They both like to eat ground squirrels. So if a badger is flushing out a den, digging things up, a coyote is waiting nearby in case a squirrel runs out of a different entrance,” Sharma said. “So it’s mutually beneficial.”
In the recent video, it becomes clear that these two aren't just casual acquaintances but an actual team. And the animals had been traveling together for quite some time before their playful interaction was caught on camera.
“They came through from one side of the highway, spent some time and went back through from the way they came," Sharma said. "So definitely a relationship here, and just some amazing body language. This is about as good as it gets.”
In the video, the coyote playfully hops and bows toward the badger, as if beckoning him to follow. The badger lumbers behind the coyote, and the pair cross through the drainpipe.
You can watch the adorable video here:
It’s clear the pair are looking out for each other — whether they're searching for their next meal or the perfect place to cross the road.