Coyotes are famous for being clever and vicious, but the coyote in this post is a different case entirely. He shows us that wild animals are as playful as pets we live with and love.

One morning the photographer Pamela Underhill Karaz, who lives in a rural area in upstate New York, spotted this wild coyote in her backyard. The coyote noticed a toy in the snow and had a playful romp with it.

He went to the middle, looked across then decided to come back up a bit. He left his scent on a downed branch (that’s how I know it was a male), then went into the trees and popped out up at the edge of our yard.

Looked around, checked out and sniffed some tracks in our yard and when he was further along he noticed the toy. He made his way over to it, sniffed around it where our dog had rolled, sniffed the toy, picked it up, dropped it, sniffed it again.”

Then the cute moment happened. “[He] picked it up then proceeded to toss it up in the air and play with it, just like a dog would toss a toy around. It lasted perhaps five to 10 minutes, from picking up the toy, tossing it in the air, picking it up again and almost bucking around with it … then he just casually trotted off with it.”

Fortunately, Karaz captured the whole thing on her camera and shared the photos on social media. She thinks that it‘s not the first time the “Toy Thief” visited her yard as the toys have disappeared from her yard many times.

“This was such a wonderful reminder that all animals, the wild and the not so wild (our pets) are really not so different. They have personalities, they have feelings, and they do their best to survive in what is sometimes a very unfriendly world. They are not so very different than us.“ If you love Pamela Underhill Karaz’s work, you can follow her on Facebook.