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Fatal attack on a pedestrian by an escaped circus elephant
- Heger, A., Schwarz, C.-S., Krauskopf, A., Heinze, S.
- Forensic science international 2019 v.300 pp. e1
- Elephantidae, air, females, humerus, lacerations, necropsy, spinal cord, thorax, Germany
- We report the case of a 65-year-old man who was attacked and killed by a female elephant that had previously escaped from a nearby circus. According to a witness the man was lifted up by the tusks, flung into the air and stomped upon. At autopsy the body showed signs of severe blunt force trauma and impalement, including multiple lacerations of the skin, a crushed thorax, a spinal fracture and a fractured humerus. The spinal cord and the major abdominal vessels were severed. There have been very few elephant attacks in Europe; this is the first reported case in Germany.