In The Long Dark, interaction with wildlife is a central part of survival. A wide variety of animals exist on Great Bear Island, including terrestrial, aquatic, and avian species. Many of the animals' behaviours are unusual or unnatural--possibly due to the aurora.

Fish

Fish inhabit the waters of several regions. Interaction with fish is limited to the fishing game mechanic, which can only occur in specific, set locations; fish can never actually be seen swimming. The fish species include the smallmouth bass, coho salmon, lake whitefish, and rainbow trout.

Animals

Prey

Prey animals, such as deer and rabbits will flee when startled by the player. However, moose will not flee when startled and will attack if provoked. All prey animals have semi-randomized routes to roam around regions, but particular locations will reliably spawn particular types of prey animals.

Predators

Predatory animals include wolves, timberwolves, and bears, which generally travel along more fixed routes than prey animals. However, predators will stalk and chase prey (including the player) that enters their detection radius.

Bears will ignore prey animals, but may stalk and charge the player. Timberwolves also seem more focused on hunting down the player in packs, but may sometimes attack other prey. Wolves will hunt the player, as well as rabbits and deer.

If a predator attacks the player, a scripted struggle scene will ensue (though the player can only fight back during wolf attacks, not bear attacks). Predators will not attack the player on the Pilgrim difficulty unless provoked.

All animals can be hunted to obtain meat, hides, and guts, which can be cured for use in crafting. Animals will eventually respawn after being killed. However, the respawn rate can be delayed temporarily if the player aggressively hunts down animals in a certain area. Trapping, on the other hand, does not seem to diminish the number of live rabbits in an area.

Birds

Crows fly overhead and do not interact directly with the player during gameplay, although they do appear in a few scenes in Story mode.  Primarily, circling crows help signal events and locations. Crows will circle over frozen corpses and large animal carcasses, and will occasionally drop crow feathers. When the player is near a bear, crows can be heard calling aggressively, as though they are alarmed or attempting to drive the predator away. Although the birds will grow louder the closer the bear is to the player, the crows themselves will never be visible.

Other bird species (e.g., loons) can be heard calling during certain times of day, however, no other birds besides circling crows are ever visible.

Trivia

  • All animals will respawn a few days after killing, depending the frequency of deaths. More deaths, longer respawn time.
Wildlife
Fish Smallmouth bassCoho salmonLake whitefishRainbow trout
Animals BearCrowDeerMooseRabbitTimberwolfWolf
Interactions FishingTrappingBaitingHuntingStruggle
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