A coyote’s exuberance over a dog’s squeaky toy gave the internet a smile on Tuesday.
A woman tied to her hospital bed captured the moment in a video that went viral on Reddit, quickly garnering 37,000 votes on the site’s “Aww” forum.
“Coyote found a squeaky toy that I accidentally left outside,” anonymous user u/Squanchinthepark said in her caption. “It turns out, coyote[s] love squeaky toys too.”
Footage showed the coyote grasping the toy in its mouth while running in wide, happy circles around a garden outside the woman’s window. The animal’s one and a half minutes of recorded playtime was punctuated by high-air leaps and dizzying spins – described by the woman as “barkour”.
The woman who was watching her wild neighbor was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in January, she revealed in a previous Reddit post. She confirmed a suspicion from a commenter who guessed her point during the video.
“Hmm, stage 4 lung cancer 7 months ago. Must be confined to the medical wing,” the viewer wrote.
The patient replied, “It’s a bit run down, but it has a remarkable view of the menagerie.”
Other Reddit users cheered for her for capturing a moment that thrilled thousands of netizens as they endured their illness.
“Hopefully the coyote keeps coming back and making /u/Squanchinthepark smile every day,” said one commenter.
“Oh that made my day,” gushed another. “It’s such a treat to see them so excited and happy jumping around and having fun!”
Although coyotes are closely related to domesticated dogs — so much so that they can, on rare occasions, breed with them — they can attack family pets. That’s because, to a coyote, a loose cat or small dog looks similar to a rabbit or woodchuck, which the Humane Society says are its normal prey.
These attacks have increased as coyotes have become the top carnivores in a growing number of metropolitan areas across North America, according to a report by the Cook County Coyote Project in Chicago, Illinois. Although they can attack humans on rare occasions, the animals are far more endangered by humans than vice versa.
Some die in wildlife-killing contests, where contestants are awarded for shooting the most coyotes the fastest. Federal agents kill, poison, and capture coyotes to eradicate them from ranching areas. And as coyote populations grow in cities, urban hunters have made a sport out of killing them.
news week contacted u/Squanchinthepark for comment.