PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A rare video of a coyote and badger playing and hunting together in Northern California is taking the internet by storm.
The adorable video was captured by a remote camera set up by the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) next to a highway near Gilroy, California.
The video shows an underground culvert, which researchers say animals use to safely travel underneath the highway.
The video starts with a coyote playfully leaping into the air as if he's prompting someone to chase him. He then walks into the culvert and that someone he was playing with walks in the frame: a squat adorable badger. The coyote waits for him to come closer and then the two animals walk together through the culvert into the dark.
Neal Sharma is a Program Manager at POST. Currently he's leading a team of four members on a three year study that looks into how wildlife interacts with major roadways.
Over 50 sensor cameras are deployed near the Southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
"Where have cameras out, we're doing roadkill surveys that will help us figure out, are there places along these highways that will help us figure out what wild animals are finding? That will help us figure out, are there places along these highways that the wild animals are finding and providing safe passage like we're seeing in the video," Sharma said.
Sharma said the video of the coyote and the badger blew them away.
"We have these two species, actually using a human-made structure to cross under the highway together, from what we know, that could be the first known observation of its kind," Sharma said.
He hopes to gather the data and present it by Spring or Summer of 2021 to different state agencies.
He also hopes these wildlife videos remind people of the importance of conservation efforts.
"I want to see us protecting areas that are working for animals and can live freely and coexist with us as we are trying to live freely as well," Sharma said.
See more stories and videos about cute animals here.