Video captures a coyote and a badger hunting together under cover of night

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(CBS News) – Newly released video shows a unique pair of friends — a coyote and a badger — hunting together in the middle of the night in California. Researchers with the nonprofit Peninsula Open Space Trust were studying how animals travel at night when they came across the unusual encounter in the Coyote Valley near San Jose. 

The researchers set up 50-remote sensor cameras and one of them caught the badger and coyote using a culvert to travel underneath a highway near the Southern Santa Cruz Mountains, according to Open Space Trust. As the animals are about to walk through it, the coyote suddenly stops, hops and wags its tail excitedly as the badger slowly catches up. It’s the first time this behavior has been caught on camera in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Peninsula Open Space Trust Wildlife Linkages manager Neal Sharma told CBS San Francisco that coyotes and badgers are known to team up and hunt together. 

“Badgers like to dig, and they like to dig fast,” Sharma said. “So there is footage out there of a badger flushing a ground squirrel nest and getting a ground squirrel of its own. But there’s another ground squirrel that comes out another entrance to the den, and the coyote nabs that one.”

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the duo working in tandem is not uncommon. A coyote chases down prey if it runs and a badger can dig after prey if it heads underground into its burrow systems.

The 10-second clip of the pair suggests a familiarity in their working relationship. Some may even say it’s a scene out of a Disney movie — two different predator species getting along. 

For Sharma, these videos give a “really good perspective of the wildlife dynamics and interactions with the roadways.” His group is only a year and a half into the planned three-year study, but so far the cameras are showing lots of movement at night and providing a great deal of useful information. The data is expected to help shape future urban planning decisions, according to CBS San Francisco.

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