Wild Dog Uses Award-Worthy ‘Play Dead’ Act To Escape From A Lioness' Jaws

A painted dog dupes one of nature's most feared predators — and then pulls off a great escape.

It looks like “play dead” just saved a wild dog’s life.

Footage from Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe shows an African painted dog delivering an award-worthy performance in the role of dead canine as it was carried around in the mouth of a lioness.

Kruger Sightings said the dog was part of a pack feasting on a dead kudu as the lioness crept up on them.

“In the flash of a moment, she pounced and managed to grab one of the dogs,” the company said in its description on YouTube.

The dog went limp in the mouth of the lioness. As the footage shows, she carried it around for some time, and the dog didn’t budge.

Kruger Sightings wrote:

When another member of the pack approached the lioness, she sprang into action, attacking the other wild dog ferociously. Then, to the surprise of everyone watching, the previously caught wild dog got up and was able to make his escape.

Both dogs escaped the lioness:

The dogs are part of the Kennedy pack, one of the packs tracked by Painted Dog Conservation, which features regular photos and updates on its Facebook page.

The organization says there are fewer than 7,000 painted dogs left in the wild, spread out over 14 countries.

The dogs are known for their success when out on the hunt.

“They have a reputation for being Africa’s most effective hunters, with, they say, up to 80% of their hunts ending in a kill,” wildlife photographer Nick Dyer told the BBC last year. “Personally, I think that’s a bit high, but it’s definitely well above that of a lion or a cheetah or a leopard.”

He added that they sleep much of the day, but when awake are known for their highly engaging group activities ― and it’s not limited to hunting.

“They have this great social bonding thing we call a greeting ceremony,” he said. “They’re so full of play, especially with their pups, so they’re always chasing and pulling each other’s tails, which is really great fun to watch.”

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