A lot of survival tips out there tell us to play dead when attacked by certain animals, like grizzly bears; the aim is to make them lose interest and leave you alone.
However, there are certain animals you should NEVER play dead to, either due to the fact that their motives are predatory (and you’ll be doing their work for them) or they just might be paranoid enough to, you know, make sure you really are dead.
1. Black bear:
Bears are, by nature, indifferent towards humans, which makes conflicts extremely rare. However, they do happen from time to time and although most of them end without serious injuries, a few end up fatal!
You’ve probably heard it times without number that, should you encounter a grizzly bear, you should play dead. However, what so many people haven’t heard is that the rule does NOT apply to black bears.
If a black bear attacks you, DO NOT PLAY DEAD! Look for a secure place to hide like a car or a building, and when things get really serious, be prepared to fight—focus on its face and muzzle.
In the rare situation that you get attacked by ANY bear while inside your tent, do not play dead because at that point; the bear is hungry and sees you as food.
Hippos are total badasses. Not only are they one of the most dangerous animals in the world, they’re also very intelligent and would want to have a go at you just to be sure you’re really dead.
NEVER play dead to a hippo! If you’re under attack, do not run in a straight line; they will catch you, you should rather run in a zigzag manner because their weight makes it difficult to make sudden movements.
Find cover; it’ll be much better if you climb a tree. Oh! And if you see a hippo flashing it’s teeth; get out of there, FAST.
Elephants are very calm, gentle, and intelligent giants. They are also intelligent enough to be empathetic, which means they may know a thing or two about life and death.
Despite all of that, elephants still remain wild animals and as a result, can act unpredictably. This could be in defense of their calves or hormonal fluctuations associated with the mating season (musth) , and when that happens, the last thing you’d want to do is to play dead.
You know pancakes right? That’s what you’ll be if you attempt playing dead in the face of an attack from these giants.
Did I forget to tell you that you shouldn’t even bother climbing a tree? They’re elephants for pete’s sake; if they really wanted to get you, they could shake or even pull down the tree just to get you. Your best option is to run in a zigzag manner (utilizing their huge weight), and find somewhere huge to hide behind (it’s gotta be really huge because, yeah, it’s a freaking elephant)
Elephants are very much afraid of bees, and no, I’m not asking you to agitate a bee hive, all I’m saying is that if you have enough forethought, you could get a good speaker and play the buzzing of bees.
Of course, this isn’t a viable option because people don’t walk around the wild with boom boxes, I’m just putting it out there just in case.
Hyenas are social creatures and have a complex, well organized social structure. This enables them to hunt in packs.
Hyenas are also described as scavengers, which means they’ll even go for carcasses. This of course means that if you get attacked by one, playing dead would just mean easy food, an opportunity no hyena would hesitate to grab.
If you’re under attack, don’t turn your back on it (obviously). Your best chance is to back away slowly with your eyes glued to it at all times. If it proceeds to charge at you, give it all you’ve got—go for the head.
Tigers are not only the biggest cats in the animal kingdom, they’re also the strongest.
Do not play dead to a tiger, they’ll only proceed to tear your supposed corpse to shreds.
Before you proceed to do anything stupid, I just want to put it out there that you cannot outrun a tiger, neither can you out-muscle it. Your best chance is to back away slowly and avoid eye contact.
You should also make yourself look much bigger, don’t forget to get noisy! Never turn your back on a tiger, never run away, it’ll chase and catch you.
If the tiger still insists on attacking you, fight back with everything you’ve got, and may the force be with you.
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