An African Bush Camp guide and his guests witnessed quite a spectacular event on a game drive in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe: a wild dog playing dead to escape the jaws of a lioness.
A pack of wild dogs were relaxing after a recent kudu feast when they were spotted by a hungry lioness, recalled the guide. The lioness is one of Cecil’s offspring, and is very well-known around the park. After a bit of stalking, she was able to pounce and quickly grab one of the wild dogs out of the pack. The safari guide and guests assumed the pup was a goner — his body was limp and lifeless as she carried him around for several minutes.
Then, things started looking up for the pup; Another member of the pack approached the lioness, perhaps in an attempt to help. The lioness released her grip on the wild dog momentarily as she went after the other member of the pack. To everyone’s surprise, the dog that was assumed to be dead leaped back onto his feet and took off to safety.
The Bush Camp guide said that in over 10 years as a safari guide, he had never seen anything like it. He checked in on both wild dogs over 2 weeks later, and both were still alive and well. It turns out that this particular pup was the alpha dog of the pack, so it’s lucky he got away.