Coyote Viral Video Earns Chicago Native Internet Fame

Ariel Parrella-Aureli
August 19, 2019 - 7:07 pm

YouTube video screenshot

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A viral video has launched a Chicago-area native into the internet spotlight.

A man from La Grange, who posts videos under monikers Joey Santore and Tony Santoro, is a "A Low-Brow, Crass Approach to Plant Ecology as muttered by a Misanthropic Chicago Italian," according to his YouTube page, Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't.

In an Aug. 16 video that was posted to Twitter by the account @eedrk, the man tried to rescue a sickly coyote he finds in Northern California. While speaking like a superfad Chicagoan and throwing out vocabulary of a nature expert, the man chases the coyote, who meekly barks and snaps at him. In the next scene, the animal is seen in the man's pickup as he attemps to take it to a shelter for check-up.

The Twitter video has over 8 million views, has been retweeted over 145,000 times so far and has over 540,000 likes.

The original video, which has over 107,000 views, was posted June 23. The coyote section is less than two minutes long — the rest of the video shows the man exploring pitcher plants in an open forest for 20 more minutes.

"I'm going to see that you have a chance," the man said in the video to the coyote after he transported it to his car. "I is going to take you to a nice rehab facility and then they'll release you back to the wild and then you can eat some nice feral cats and squirrels, ya know."

The coyote, who looks scared, was full of ticks and visibly emaciated, did not move but stared at the man.

"I am not going to mess with you," he told the animal.

According to another video, the man tried to bring the coyote to a shelter but it was closed. The next day, the pup died, which saddened many on social media. Some had given it names and hoped for its recovery; others complimented the man's accent and his attempts at saving the animal. 

"Its like I am listening to an Italian Mobster on vacation thats secretly a Botanist but doesnt want to tell Johnny-BigMouth and the rest of the gang about his hobby," commented someone on the video. 

"I came for the coyote pup, but I stay for the botany. Smart, entertaining, educational, occasionally hilarious. Good stuff," read another.

The man, who has not been identified due to privacy, is a freight train driver in California and an amatuer botanist, according to WBBM reports.

While most of his videos do not include him trying to save wildlife, his narration mixes humor and expert botanist knowledge that has kept his fans coming back for more as well as reaching new eyeballs.