Wild Dog Figures Out Perfect Way To Trick Hungry Lion

"Oh my God! He's alive!"

A wild lioness who thought she'd scored her next meal had quite a surprise coming her way. 

The lioness was stalking through Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park when she spotted a pack of African wild dogs who had just managed to score a meal themselves, according to Kruger Sightings.

The pack of dogs had just finished dining on a kudu when they were taken by surprise by the lioness, who pounced and managed to grab one frightened member of their pack. 

Wild dog plays dead to escape lioness
YouTube/Kruger Sightings

An expedition of tourists from a nearby bush camp happened to witness the entire thing from where they were sitting in a couple of safari vehicles close by — and they were quite shocked at the dramatic display of nature happening right before their eyes. Calvet, their safari guide, managed to capture much of the drama on camera. 

The lioness was carrying around the limp dog in her mouth, while the other members of the dog pack stood nearby, as if concerned about their fellow member. (Wild dogs are highly social animals who hunt together and even help each other raise their pups.)

Wild dog plays dead to escape lioness
YouTube/Kruger Sightings

Or perhaps the other members of the pack knew exactly what they were doing, as the video shows:

click to play video

When one wild dog comes particularly close to the lioness holding his friend, she drops the dog in her mouth to chase the other dog — and that's when the pup formerly in the grip of her jaws runs away.

The dog had apparently been playing dead until he could make a break for it — which he wasted no time doing. "Oh my God!" one safari-goer can be heard exclaiming in the video as he sprints away. "He's alive!"

Both of the dogs were later confirmed to have survived their heart-stopping encounter with the lioness, according to Kruger Sightings. And the lioness, who was raising cubs nearby, would have to come up with another plan for dinner. 

Wild dog plays dead to escape lioness
YouTube/Kruger Sightings

Both lions and wild dogs are natural predators — but both are vulnerable to extinction because of threats posed by human beings: Hunting and habitat loss endanger the survival of their kinds. The lioness, for instance, is actually a daughter of the famous Cecil, who was killed by a trophy hunter in 2015.

You can help protect amazing wild species, both the lions and the wild dog underdogs, by making a donation to the African Wildlife Foundation.