“It was so cute to watch them,” Ward wrote, adding that the fox never tried to harm the skunk, nor did the skunk ever use his spray. “They went off playing.”
Though this sighting of two interspecies friends was certainly sweet, it speaks to something larger — in wild animals, there’s more depth and desire to get along than many people might think.
“This video is really interesting and important, and what we’re seeing isn’t all that surprising,” Marc Bekoff, a professor and world-renowned expert on animal play, told The Dodo.
“I’ve often noted that there is a ‘universal language of play’ that is shared across many different species, by which individuals communicate their intentions to engage in play, rather than to fight or prey on one another,” Bekoff added. “They can level the playing field and fine-tune playful encounters using various signals that convey that they want to play and not fight, and this message can be shared across diverse species, such as foxes and skunks.”