Does any of this take into account the possibility of wildlife getting infected and dying/reanimating once they eat something? Which leads to a larger question: do different species of zombie eat each other, or do they prey exclusively on the living?
In response to that question, I have no choice (and a great deal of glee) but to recommend to you the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant. The zombie virus does indeed reanimate any mammal over 40 pounds upon death. Death by zombie moose is mentioned at one point.
Maggot time lapse
What about zombie bears?
In George R.R. Martin’s books the army of ice zombies has zombie bears on their side. Your move, nature.
This may be apocryphal, but I thought bears didn’t eat carrion.
If it’s fresh, why not?
The typical diet of a black bear is similar to other species of bear. They like nutrition and protein rich foods like termites, bees and moths. They eat berries, nuts, acorns, honey and fruit. Because bears are not active predators they prefer to eat carrion. Carrion is especially important for bears that have just come out of hibernation and are in great need of protein.
I believe the resurgence of the black bear is linked to the growth of the deer population, which provides the bears with both road kill and gut piles left by hunters.
(Frustrated sigh) This depends completely on the “zombie universe” it’s being applied to!
Hmm. I guess I was always taught that playing dead was a way to avoid bear attack because 1) they don’t eat carrion and 2) they are stupid as shit because they think a person who drops dead in front of them from some sort of heart defect or other natural cause is not worth eating.
In retrospect, that whole “play dead” thing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…
Bears are stupid compared to most humans, but otherwise not at all.
The dolphin will save us all.
Playing dead works because bears don’t attack living, moving animals for food. They do it in response to a perceived threat—usually to their cubs—or because they are surprised and can’t get away. Bears typically don’t like to encounter humans, and people carry bear bells because if a bear knows you’re in the area it will try to avoid you.The disinclination of bears to confront humans or attack moving mammals (be they living or merely undead) makes it difficult to believe they would treat zombies as moving buffets.
On the other hand, playing dead is the worst thing to do when confronted by an animal that hunts larger mammals for food, such as cougars, mountain lions, and other big cats: if they attack you, they’ve almost certainly stalked you and are looking to eat.
Yeah. . . but what will they want in return?
In the BSA, We were taught to never play dead, especially when you encounter a bear. The standard operating procedure is 1.) never encounter a bear, because you carry bear bells and make plenty of noise, and don’t approach bears. 2.) If you come face to face with a bear, drop anything with a smell (backpack food etc.) and book it out of there, preferrably down the steepest incline available, and if there’s a tree, you can try to climb it if you want. The key is to drop your smellables because a bag of food/garbage is a lot more attractive to a bear than a screaming running guy. You’ll lose in a foot race on level ground, but a lot of bears, especially the large ones, are reluctant to run down steep inclines because they’re weight is unbalanced, and they’re likely to topple/trip.
If you’re attacked by a cougar, you’re supposed to make yourself big and loud. But yeah, if you even see a cougar, it’s almost guarunteed that it’s been stalking you. So you’re at a clear disadvantage when facing one.
I don’t know.
Foamy the Rabid Dolphin already exists as a (meta) concept in the cineverse.
Could zombolphins be far behind?
And since zombies are a cinematic creation originally inhabiting mostly cheap, poorly made Romero-knock-off horror movies, they’re very rarely even internally consistent in their rules. In other words: how do zombies work? However the writer/director thought would be scariest in that particular scene.
Why no, I’ve not seen too many zombie movies, why do you ask?
I think the difference is playing dead when you’re actually attacked or being mauled by a bear, as opposed to fighting back. It’s not a fight you’re going to win, and you’re almost certainly only being attacked because the bear sees you as a threat. Timothy Treadwell aside, bears don’t see people as food, and are likely just as surprised to encounter you as you are to encounter them.