Fatal deer attack in a rutting season
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Animal inflicted fatal or near fatal injuries are well described in the forensic literature, with the most frequently described cases involving dogs, large cats and bears. To our knowledge, a deer inflicted fatality has not been described in the forensic literature previously. This article reports a case of a 64-year-old male, who was found lying in a pool of blood near an enclosure for stags and hinds at the end of October. There were mechanical defects on his jacket and trousers, which appeared to be torn or penetrated, as well as multiple lacerations and stab wounds in different parts of his body. The type and location of the injuries the man had sustained strongly suggested that another person had been involved in the incident that had led to his death. The cause of death was deemed as external exsanguination due to multiple stab wounds to large vessels. After evaluating all of the information regarding the circumstances around the death, the case was classified as a deer attack related fatality, and the manner of death was determined to be accidental. The man was most probably attacked by one of the deer while he was refilling the animal feeder. A substantial increase in the levels of selected hormones, especially testosterone, during the rutting season explains the increased levels of aggression shown by the deer that led to a fatal outcome for the decedent.
KeywordsDeer Fatal attack Rutting season Lacerated wounds Stab wounds
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from the next of kin.
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