Roadrunner escapes peril by carpooling with Arizona park ranger

Fans of the beloved Looney Tunes franchise know this to be the common motto of the popular Road Runner character eternally in conflict with the desperate Wile E. Coyote.

But Beep beep! shares a different meaning in regard to a zany situation that occurred at the Lost Dutchman State Park in Pinal County.

A photo shared Wednesday from the Arizona State Parks Twitter account shows a roadrunner taking shelter inside a park ranger’s truck, supposedly to escape the clutches of a ravenous coyote.

The tweet read, “POV: you were running away from the coyote and got confused…”

The roadrunner took a brief break next to the driver’s seat, seemingly scouting out the area in search of potential danger. This allowed Ranger Jackie to snap a quick photo of the bird before it scampered back into the wild.

Conservation status Periodically expands range to north and east, is killed back by severe winters. May be in long-term decline in California.

Family Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis

Habitat Deserts, open country with scattered brush. Most common in Sonoran desert and in other kinds of brushy country, including chaparral and Texas brushlands, in areas with a mix of open ground and dense low cover. At limits of range, found in dry grassland, forest edges, and limestone hills with scattered junipers.

The most famous bird in the southwest, featured in folklore and cartoons, known by its long tail and expressive crest. The Roadrunner walks and runs on the ground, flying only when necessary. It can run 15 miles per hour, probably with much faster spurts when chasing a fast-running lizard or other prey. Its prowess as a rattlesnake fighter has been much exaggerated, but it does eat a remarkable variety of smaller creatures.

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