A Coyote and a Badger – friends
In the gasfield
The coyote and badger live in the Pinedale Anticline gasfield area. Photo by Cat Urbigkit.
by Pinedale Online!
November 18, 2012
Cat Urbigkit recently had the opportunity to watch and photograph an unusual wildlife interaction. A coyote and badger have been cooperatively hunting prairie dogs in the Pinedale Anticline Project Area north of Highway 351.
While out checking on her sheep, a coyote ran in front of her. She pulled off the highway to get some pictures…
"But she didn’t run far. As I watched, the coyote ran through the sagebrush, but soon paused and turned. Instead of looking back at me, she was looking elsewhere. I strained to see what could be so interesting in her line of sight, and soon saw a red/brown fury erupt through the sage, headed right at the coyote. The coyote stood quietly, winking both her eyes at the approaching badger – apparently waiting for her companion. Once the badger approached the coyote’s side, the pair took off through the sagebrush, hunting together companionably. At times the coyote would surge forward after some small prey, but would often stop and look back over her shoulder, allowing the smaller predator to catch up."
The badger and coyote zig-zagged together through the sagebrush for about 20 minutes. She watched until the two hunters continued on their merry way, out of sight. Cat was able to find and watch the pair over four days hunting and playing together.
She found several historical references in online literature describing coyote and badger companionships, one dating as far back as 1884. A biologist actually studied badgers at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 1992, radio tagging 42 badgers, and recorded an increased hunting success rate for the coyote when cooperating with badgers.
"I'm sure I would have been thrilled to witness this relationship wherever it may occur. But I find some pleasure in the fact that I am witnessing this in my own neighborhood, where coyotes are hunted, and amid active natural gas development. This is truly multiple-use land, and remains WILD."
Below are links to her stories about this pair:
The girls go on a hunt Sunday, October 21, 2012
Cooperation continues Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Photos by Cat Urbigkit