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Let's say a rich girl (let's call her Sera) adopted a baby tiger years ago. The tiger is an adult male, but docile with his owner. Tomorrow a zombie apocalypse starts and spreads fast across united states.

Sera knows that her pet is a good ally, but is not immortal, even if the virus doesn't infect animals. She crafts or buys a fine leather armor with metal plates similar to the ones that samurais used.

The house is not safe. She needs to escape from the city. She grabs some clothes, weapons, first aid kits and supplies for her and the tiger. Don't worry about that detail, they have enough for 7 months and the big cat can eat zombies or other animals, humans or even wildlife.

Sera has a modified hummer big enough for her and the pet tiger.

How hard is survival for sera and her friend? Is the tiger a decent guardian for her?

Notes: Zombies are mixed: some are fast, others are slow. They are not smart, but not so stupid. Balanced stats for the undead.

The destination of Sera is any remote location free from zombies, like a natural reserve or an island.

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closed as off-topic by apaul, SRM, sphennings, Aify, L.Dutch May 15 '17 at 5:26

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    $\begingroup$ Can they survive... for how long? against how many zombies? fast/intelligent zombies, or slow/stupid zombies? Where is her destination? What will she do after she gets there? $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 14 '17 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ Is zombie meat safe for the tiger to eat? If not do they have a supply of meat? $\endgroup$ – Static May 14 '17 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ What's the point of apocalypse if you still can order things, like fine leather or leather armor? $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 14 '17 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Static yes is safe,and the tiger cant carry the virus. $\endgroup$ – Seraph Myrmidon May 14 '17 at 21:57
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    $\begingroup$ the problem is that tiger is not a dog, and there will be problems to try to control it as a dog, thus is not so much a help. So you must handwave it. Food supply for the thing considering the usefulness of it is too high, and even if it would be useful the problem still stands. They will be forced to engage with zombies to get the food instead of slipping trough, thus higher chances to fail and it is not certain that presence of tiger outweighs that disadvantage. Even chihuahua could be a better choice because she basically needs an alarm, that's all.(however they are not a good choice) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg May 14 '17 at 22:49
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In short, no.

Tigers are ambush hunters. Sure, they are big and powerful but they don't excel in a straight fight. While they have been known to attack other predators or large prey animals they rely on quickly disabling them, a method not very useful against zombies who can often rise up after pretty much any wound.

From Wikipedia:

Successful hunts usually require the tiger to almost simultaneously leap onto its quarry, knock it over, and grab the throat or nape with its teeth.

and

When hunting larger animals, tigers prefer to bite the throat and use their powerful forelimbs to hold onto the prey, often simultaneously wrestling it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its target dies of strangulation.

Except strangulation, or even decapitation depending on your zombie type, isn't going to be much use against a zombie. In which case your tiger is either torn apart by the zombie it has attacked, or mobbed by the rest of the zombies (because zombies aren't known for coming one at a time).

Without the element of surprise, against a number of enemies who cannot easily be disabled I don't think a tiger would be much use.

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    $\begingroup$ But this tiger has "fine leather armor with metal plates similar to the ones that samurais used". How could it not survive? $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 14 '17 at 22:17
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Yes, Sera will survive, because you put qualifications like:

  • "fine leather armor with metal plates",
  • "supplies for her and the tiger. ... for 7 months and the big cat can eat zombies or other animals, humans or even wildlife."
  • "the tiger cant (sic) carry the virus"
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  • $\begingroup$ So obvious once you point it out. I'll give plus one for commonsense. Because commonsense isn't so common. $\endgroup$ – a4android May 15 '17 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ This is not an answer to the question. It does zero analysis to suggest whether those bullet points are sufficient to overcome the zombies. Food goes bad over 7 months unless it is in heavy-to-transport cans; armor may actually inhibit tiger fighting ability; even pet tigers get hungry (see Siegfied and Roy of Las Vegas fame). This answer is equivalent to saying, "Yes, Sera will survive because the author is going to make her survive by fiat to preserve the story." $\endgroup$ – SRM May 15 '17 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ "because the author is going to make her survive by fiat" that's exactly what I'm saying, because that's exactly what @Alex Myrmidon wants. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 15 '17 at 4:44
  • $\begingroup$ I got the joke and have free internet points for you ) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg May 15 '17 at 21:49

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