Insight & Analysis

A coyote and a badger walk into a tunnel…

Published: Feb 2020

No, it’s not the start of bad joke. A coyote and a badger were recently caught on film together, and the footage shows what seems to be a friendship of sorts.

View from inside a tunnel with a coyote and badger at the entrance

Capturing the hearts of thousands across the globe, footage posted by the Peninsula Open Space Trust shows an unlikely friendship pairing. The video shows a coyote about to enter a culvert (a concrete tunnel designed to divert water to flow under a road) before spotting something off camera. The coyote starts wagging its tail and playfully jumping around before a badger wanders into view and the pair continue on their way down the tunnel together.

The video was captured as part of the trust’s research into how wildlife moves across the southern Santa Cruz Mountains and interacts with major roadways. There are more than 50 remote sensor cameras operating and the information learned will be used to inform conservation efforts, such as the expansion of safe wildlife habitats and increasing the number of safe crossings.

The trust posted a blog post as the video went viral, explaining that “it’s not uncommon for badgers and coyotes to hunt together”, and that by working together it’s easier for them to catch prey. “But to see them moving through a small tunnel (or culvert) like this while playing is pretty surprising.”

So although most cross-species pairings are based on mutual benefit, we’re happy to imagine that these two enjoy many a stroll together as old friends.

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