Death caused by a domestic pig attack

Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2021 Sep;17(3):469-474. doi: 10.1007/s12024-021-00376-y. Epub 2021 Jun 9.


The primary medico-legal investigation goal in deaths due to animal attacks is distinguishing between animal-related injuries and potential homicidal wounds. We report the case of a 49-year-old male found dead in his farm's pigsty, where a sow and her piglets were present. At the postmortem examination, numerous, severe blunt force injuries were observed on the body, with special regard to the upper extremities where massive injuries involving soft tissues, bones, and regional vessels, tendons, and nerves were present. The death resulted from severe bleeding from massive upper extremities injuries due to a domestic pig attack. Domestic pigs are usually placid but they can become aggressive if disturbed and attack humans producing severe injuries due to trampling, kicking and biting. Knowing the relevant anatomy, pattern of attack, and morphologies of wounds produced by particular animals can distinguish animal attacks from homicides, as well as attempt to identify the type of animal involved in an unwitnessed attack.

Keywords: Animals; Blunt force injuries; Domestic pig; Forensic pathology; Patterned injuries; Swine.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage
  • Homicide
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sus scrofa*
  • Swine