Video showing a badger and coyote collaborating

They look like they're on a mission together, but are this coyote and badger best friends or hunting partners? Here is what lies behind these viral images.

Best friends or hunting partners?

This footage shed light on an unknown collaboration between two predators of the American plains: the coyote and the American badger. Although both species hunt the same prey, such as ground squirrels, they do, however, have different strategies. Thanks to its digging skills, the badger can fetch prey directly from the burrow. On the other hand, the coyote waits until it’s in the open and exposed before chasing and catching it.

Even though these animals are often in competition, two individuals can also establish a mutualistic relationship, benefitting both of them. If a coyote chases prey in the plains or if a badger digs it out of its burrow, the other animal saves time and energy while waiting for the prey to flee to its preferred hunting ground.

They don’t share prey, each species enjoys the other’s failures. But the relations between these collaborative animals seem cordial. This footage, that went viral, were shot near the Santa Cruz Mountains, in California. The excitement the coyote seems to display has caught the public's attention, which appears to be guiding and encouraging the badger.