The little GoPro camera is perched above a stunning valley in Glacier National Park, minding its own business. Time lapse ensues, as clouds flit by and light shifts.
Suddenly a little fuzzy beige-white thing appears in the distance. It grows bigger and bigger, then, Hi! We are nose to nose with a marmot, peering into the lens.
Then things get weird. Out comes the little tongue, and slurp—we, the viewers, are being licked. By a marmot.
This happened to Greenpeace while the environmental organization was filming scenes for a time-lapse video spot. It is reminiscent of what bears apparently do when they think humans aren’t looking—or when they find out they’re being filmed.
Of course, the underlying message is serious: The spot was being filmed to publicize the dangers to wildlife habitat posed by melting glaciers, the marmot among the animals that could be in trouble. Perhaps the little guy was thanking Greenpeace?
“In Glacier National Park, global warming is melting glaciers and shrinking the alpine tundra environment as treelines move higher up the mountains,” Greenpeace said in its notes to the video. “Shrinking tundra threatens marmots and other animals that live up high in these mountains.”
Whether it’s kissing the camera in gratitude, or thinking it’s grabbing a snack, the cute critter has captured hearts across the Internet.
After a few nibbles, apparently satisfied that it’s tasty enough, the marmot appears to grab the camera, as it goes all askew. Takeout, anyone?