Video Shows Real-Life Roadrunner Outsmart Hungry Coyote Chasing Him
This real-life viral video of a roadrunner evading a pursuing coyote is so satisfyingly similar to a “Looney Tunes” cartoon from your childhood that we recommend pouring yourself a bowl of sugary cereal and pretending it’s Saturday morning before you watch.
Michael Bogan, who holds a doctorate in zoology and is an assistant professor of aquatic ecology at the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment, captured the footage from the Santa Cruz River Park in Tucson, Arizona.
Bogan shared the clip this week to his social media accounts, including his Instagram page, which normally features many beautifully photographed wildlife scenes rather than animated favorites come to life.
“Roadrunner vs coyote in real life!!!” he captioned the video.
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Roadrunner vs coyote in real life!!! The Warner Brothers cartoon was art imitating life, but witnessing this scene on the Santa Cruz River today in downtown Tucson really felt like a case of life imitating art ? . . . #cartoons #coyote #roadrunner #warnerbrothers #acmecorporation #correcaminos #wildlife #urbanecology #tucson #arizona #santacruzriver #whyilovewhereilive #sonorandesert #birdsofinstagram #coyotesofinstagram
“The Warner Brothers cartoon was art imitating life, but witnessing this scene on the Santa Cruz River today in downtown Tucson really felt like a case of life imitating art.”
He was referring to the delightfully unending cat-and-mouse — or rather coyote and roadrunner — chase between the classic Warner Brothers “Looney Tunes” animated characters Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner featured in their own cartoon shorts.
Judging from his narration, he was just as amused to see the scene unfold as we were to watch it.
“There is literally the coyote chasing the roadrunner,” Bogan said as the bird scurried across the rocky Arizona desert landscape with a coyote trotting behind it in pursuit.
“I can’t believe it. That is a straight-up cartoon,” he said as the roadrunner took flight in its getaway.
The coyote appeared to even look at the camera in defeat.
No ACME products, anvils or rockets were used. None of the old train-tunnel-painted-on-the-side-of-a-mountain tricks (our personal favorite).
But just like in the cartoons, the roadrunner got away without a single scratch.
“I don’t have a SoundCloud,” Bogan tweeted, “but I do see lots of roadrunners and coyotes on the Santa Cruz River, and I tweet a lot about nerdy stuff!”
I don’t have a SoundCloud, but I do see lots of roadrunners and coyotes on the Santa Cruz River, and I tweet a lot about nerdy stuff! ?
And if you want just photos, here’s my IG account: https://t.co/nslGmfuajV pic.twitter.com/cNiVzI5XXa
— Michael Thomas Bogan (@mtbogan) May 10, 2020
In an accomplished career that includes earning a doctorate as well as having numerous peer-reviewed works published, this is arguably his most amusing, if not most important, work.
His video had nearly 300,000 views on Twitter as of Thursday, and users had fun with their replies.
Coyote: *looks at camera and holds up sign*
Wait, did he just…fly?
*holds up another sign* That’s it, I’m done.
— OctopusInTheNeighborhood (@InOctopus) May 10, 2020
there are fewer anvils and rocket-powered devices than expected…
— flotsam and jetsam (@tgreseth) May 10, 2020
“Meep meep!”one user tweeted, along with many others who quoted the Road Runner’s only words used in the cartoon series.
— Ivan Ramirez (@astroChasqui) May 10, 2020
Even the official “Looney Tunes” account got in on the fun, tweeting, “these guys never give it a break lol.”
these guys never give it a break lol https://t.co/yDIHo2oIdh
— Looney Tunes (@WBLooneyTunes) May 13, 2020
This short but endearing video was undoubtedly a respite from a serious news cycle.
The only thing that could have improved this would have been a carrot-munching rabbit asking Michael Bogan, PhD: “What’s up, Doc?”
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