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A Fatal Leopard Attack

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A rare case of a big cat fatal attack is presented. A male leopard that had escaped from its unlocked cage attacked a 26-year-old male zoo worker. The man sustained penetrating injuries to the neck with consequent external bleeding. The man died while being transported to the hospital as a result of the injuries sustained. The wounds discovered on the victim’s body corresponded with the known methods of leopard attacks and with findings on the carcasses of animals killed by leopards in the wild. The conclusion of the medicolegal investigation was that the underlying cause of death was a bite wound to the neck which lacerated the left internal jugular vein, the two main branches of the left external carotid artery, and the cervical spine. The cause of death was massive external bleeding. Special attention is paid to the general pattern of injuries sustained from big cat attacks.

Keywords: Panthera pardus; big cat; bite injury; forensic science; injury pattern; leopard attack

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Legal Medicine, Charles University, Šimkova 870, 500 01 Hradec, Králové, Czech Republic.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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