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Autopsy Features of Fatal Donkey Attack

Fogel, Lajos MD*; Varga, Gyula MD; Hubay, Marta MD; Felszeghy, Endre MD; Varga, Peter BHthSci§; Byard, Roger W. MD§

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 4 - p 354–356
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000406
Case Reports

Lethal donkey attacks have very rarely been described. The case of a 65-year-old man who was found deceased on a country road with 2 domestic donkeys nearby is, therefore, reported. Examination of the body revealed contusions and lacerations of the face and scalp, a comminuted fracture of the left maxilla, comminuted fracturing of the right radius and ulna and of the left anterior superior iliac spine, a flail chest, and pulmonary contusions. In addition, there were bite marks on the left thigh, right buttock, right axilla/upper arm, and left cheek which corresponded to the dental arcades of the donkeys. Death had resulted from blunt chest trauma due to an attack by 1 or 2 donkeys. Deaths and serious injuries are much more commonly caused by horses; however, this case shows that even domesticated donkeys may also rarely be capable of inflicting significant trauma and so should be approached with circumspection.

From the *For-Med Ltd, Tatabanya;

Hungarian Institute of Forensic Sciences;

Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary; and

§School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

Manuscript received February 23, 2018; accepted March 17, 2018.

The authors have no conflict of interests and not received funding for this article.

Reprints: Roger W. Byard, MD, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Level 3 Medical School North Building, Frome Rd, Adelaide 5005, Australia. E-mail:

© 2018 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.