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  1. ITV Report

Coyote and badger captured on camera travelling together in rare footage

It's an unlikely pairing, but a badger and a coyote living in the Santa Cruz Mountains of northern California appear to have become friends.

Researchers in California recorded footage of the animals together that they believe could be “the first of its kind”.

In the clip the coyote appears to be waiting for the badger before the two cross under a highway together.

The native canine even appeared to jump for joy on spotting the approaching badger.

The pair head off together, crossing underneath the highway safely. Credit: Peninsula Open Space Trust/POST

Neal Sharma from the Peninsula Open Space Trust said it was "the best kind of footage we could ever dream of".

The wildlife linkages programme manager explained the footage is part of a study examining areas of safe passage for wildlife.

He added: "It absolutely blew us away."

The footage was recorded at the Santa Cruz Mountains in California in November last year, but it wasn't until it was shared on social media this week that the world was introduced to the friendly animals.

The clip received millions of views on social media, with some suggesting it had the hallmarks of a Disney film.

Mr Sharma said that he had heard of other accounts of coyotes and badgers hunting together, saying that while they hunt differently, it is often in pursuit of the same prey.

"Actually seeing these two species use a human made crossing structure for safe passage under a busy highway is the first (footage) of its kind that we are aware of," Mr Sharma continued.

"What we don’t see in the clip is that just before that, these two actually came through the culvert together, spent some time on the side, and actually went back together."