So everything is in order in this game... except its challenge. Which I agree the random bear eating you is fun... the first time or two yes but I think what might be more fun is if the animals were controlled as far as where they are in the map as well as their levels. This gives you a sense of power and reward. Most importantly it makes you feel like you have a purpose and it gives you curiosity for what challenge is out there when you first play instead of revealing it all at once.. Maybe have this simply as a setting "Progressive difficulty" - a much more organized yet still unpredictable approach. Without mystery, reward and especially purpose... you have no game.
Also basic enemy creatures shouldn't come with so many negative de-buffs instead let the player work up to the difficulty maybe include these negative things later on?.. Like a komodo dragon giving the food de-buff or a suture wound for example but only if its lvl 50 around? Maybe make it a bigger version?.