8-Title: Post-mortem changes in goats died due to leopard attack

8-Title: Post-mortem changes in goats died due to leopard attack

Authors: Ganesh K Sawale, Prerna Ghorpade, NR Karambele, BS Katkade, PV Meshram, SA Gaikwad and HY Palampalle

Source: Ruminant Science (2023)-12(1):47-50.

How to cite this manuscript: Sawale Ganesh K, Ghorpade Prerna, Karambele NR, Katkade BS, Meshram PV, Gaikwad SA and Palampalle HY (2023). Post-mortem changes in goats died due to leopard attack. Ruminant Science 12(1):47-50.


Total of seven female and one male Osmanabadi goat of 6-7 months of age was found dead due to an attack by the leopard. Necropsy examination of the carcass revealed two to four paired puncture injuries at the neck. The nature of the injuries showed sharp, pointed and deep lesions caused by upper and lower canine teeth. Three of the goat had deep multiple penetrating injuries (2 to 4 holes) at the larynx or upper part of the trachea. Lacerated injury at the neck and face region of the goat was also a common finding. The soft tissue under the skin at the neck region was badly torn and haemorrhagic. Rupture of the jugular vein was seen in three goats. The trachea showed severe congestion at neck region due to external pressure and contained frothy exudates throughout the lumen. All the lobes of the lung collapsed except the lower half of the diaphragmatic lobe which showed severe emphysema. The chambers of the heart were empty in nearly all goats. In one goat, half of the skin of the lower abdomen as well as both the muscle of the hind leg (medial side) were severely damaged and there were also scratch marks on hind leg bones. The frothy exudate in the tracheal lumen and collapse of the lung indicated death due to asphyxia as a result of compression of the trachea by the leopard jaw at the neck region simulating the manner of death due to strangulation in human beings.


Abuabara A (2006). A review of facial injuries due to dog bites. Medicina Oral, Patología Oraly CirugíaBucal (Internet) 11(4):348-350.

Athreya V, Odden M, Linnell JD, Krishnaswamy J and Karanth U (2013). Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human-dominated landscape in India. PloS One 8(3):57872.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Leopard”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 14 Jul. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/animal/leopard. Accessed on 5 January 2023.

Bury D, Langlois N and Byard RW (2012). Animal related fatalities-part I: Characteristic autopsy findings and variable causes of death associated with blunt and sharp trauma.  Journal of Forensic Sciences 57(2):370-374.

Camaros E, Cueto M, Lorenzo C, Villaverde V and Rivals F (2016). Large carnivore attacks on hominins during the Pleistocene: A forensic approach with a Neanderthal example. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 8(3):635-646.

Chatterjee B (2020). Rapid increase in leopard movement in Aarey Colony: Forest department. Hindustan Times. Mumbai news (Apr 10, 2020, 05:13 PM IST).https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/rapid-increase-in-leopard-movement-in-aarey-colony-forest-department/story-eM2QtHjqGa23kL1zhuaZZM.html).

Datko M, Vojtisek T and Hejna P (2015). A fatal lion attack. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology 11(2):300-302.

Debbarma S, Bhute AR, Vaibhav V and Parate SV (2021). Fatal wild leopard attack injuries in Uttarakhand, India. Medico-Legal Journal p.00258172211057370.

Deccan Herald (2022). https://www.deccanherald.com/special-features/living-with-leopards-in-mumbais-aarey-1078261.html, (Feb 05 2022, 01:19 IST). Assessed on 11/01/2023.

Hejna P (2010). A fatal leopard attack. Journal of Forensic Sciences 55(3):832-834.

Langley RL (2005). Animal-related fatalities in the United States-An update. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 16:67-74.

Lin W and Patil PM (2015). Facial dog attack injuries. Indian Journal of Surgery 77(1):55-58.

Padmanidhi A, Ajay D, Nouman R and Ruby K (2021). Head and neck injuries after leopard attack: Presentation and management. Chinese Journal of Traumatology 24(6):389-393.

Pathak H, Borkar J, Dixit P, Dhawan S, Shrigiriwar M and Dingre N(2013). Fatal tiger attack: A case report with emphasis on typical tiger injuries characterized by partially resembling stab-like wounds. Forensic Science International 232(1-3):e1-e4.

Seidensticker J (1994). Big Cats in Situ: The African Leopard. Ecology and Behavior of a Solitary Felid. Theodore N. Bailey. Columbia University Press, New York.

Skuja M (2002). Human-lion conflict around Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. MSc Thesis submitted to University of Wisconsin-Madison, DepGeogr.

Surve NS, Sathyakumar S, Sankar K, Jathanna D, Gupta V and Athreya V(2022). Leopards in the city: The tale of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Two protected areas in and adjacent to Mumbai, India. Frontiers in Conservation Science 3:15.

Thakur JS, Mohan C and Sharma DR (2007). Himalayan black bear mauling: Offense or defense? American Journal of Otolaryngology 28:247-250.

Uvira M, Marecova K, Dokoupil M, Dvoøáèek I and Handlos P (2019). Fatal deer attack in a rutting season. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology 15(1):93-96.

Wroe S, McHenry C and Thomason J (2005). Bite club: Comparative bite force in big biting mammals and the prediction of predatory behaviour in fossil taxa. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 272(1563):619-625.