The UPIA were contacted to assist in the analysis of a series of images, submitted to Paul Westwood of Big Cat Monitors. The Images show a Roe Deer, allegedly mutilated in Cambridgeshire. Due to the media hysteria regarding reported mutilations in Gloustershire, We have gained permission to place one of the images along with our findings and conclusion on the UPIA website. We believe these images will potentially appear in the media over the conming weeks, and hope our analysis beforehand will help stem the flow of media hype currently taking place,
Photo taken on Samsung GT-I9000 on 5/2/2012 12:04. No GPS, location reported as Cambridgeshire.
Photographs submitted by Paul Westwood
Analysis by Kirst D'Raven www.upia.co.uk
Photo shows the remains of a roe doe, positioned, apparently, with front forelegs splayed, head turned 180 degrees pointing back along the animals spine. Angle of photography prevents clear view of what appears to be extensive mutilation, possibly from breastbone to pelvis. The animal appears to be missing the majority of its hindquarters, and from this photo appears to have been 'butterflied'. No evidence of injury to throat, head, face, back or general neck area. Slight blood staining in snow near mouth and very slight staining to snow in area of injuries.
Light trail of blood extending from rear of animal in a straight line, turns to right for short distance, then back left, continuing in a straight line out of shot. Blood spotting and lack of hind limbs would suggest that the animal has been carried into position as opposed to dragged, or having dragged itself. No indicators of time or cause of death can be determined from this picture. Small animal and bird tracks around carcass indicate scavenger activity. No definite human prints observable in this picture.
Same animal. Photograph taken slightly left of first. Slight blood staining in snow close to animals muzzle typical of postmortem seepage. Again, very small amount of staining visible in vicinity of exposed flesh. Small amount of blood spotting at small distance from rear of carcass, no drag marks visible. Left shoulder joint visible, appears to have been cut through cleanly. Left foreleg appearing to be still connected to carcass by the animals hide, visible in first photograph positioned underneath the animals right shoulder. Animal and bird tracks visible. No distinct human tracts observable.
Photograph shows hand displayed for size comparison to a rabbit track.
As above. Another, barely discernable print observed, possibly fox or dog.
Photograph shows a faint, winding trail of blood, presumably leading to the carcass which is not visible in this shot. The trail starts near to a high wooden board fence, and undulates from left to right. It has the appearance of drops, there does not appear to be smears or evidence of 'dragging'. No object of scale to reference distance or width of trail. The blood, which has a brown appearance, does not appear to be fresh nor in the quantities which would be expected if this was the site of the deer’s death. The trail follows the route of what appears to be another trail with several areas of melted snow. This trail may be a set of rapidly melting footprints. The position of the blood trail in relation to these prints may indicate that the carcass has been carried on the left shoulder.
Photograph showing apparent blood staining in snow. No scale available to reference for size of area. Surface of snow appears undisturbed indicating that blood has fallen onto snow as opposed to being flattened and smeared by dragging.
Photograph showing apparent blood trail, surface area of snow appears undisturbed, indicating blood has fallen on snow rather than been dragged. Several tracks / prints which with no scale reference or detail, are impossible to identify conclusively.
It is my belief that the lack of blood in the area of the deer carcass indicates that the animal is unlikely to have been killed where it was found.
The lack of blood staining to the snow in the area of and on the carcass itself, particularly in the areas of exposed flesh (i.e. the abdomen and pelvic areas) plus the apparent clean cut through the shoulder joint of the animal and the missing haunches and back legs lead me to believe that this animal has been gutted and partially dismembered at another location.
The positioning of the deer’s left foreleg underneath the right forequarter, and head and neck positioning, the cessation of the blood trail several inches away from the carcass and the depth of the front of the carcass in the snow in relation to the remains of its hindquarters indicates that the deer has been dropped from above from left to right, as from someone’s shoulder.
With no core body temperatures and no reports to confirm the condition of the carcass with regard to rigor mortis and lividity, it would be foolish to try to establish a conclusive time of death, but taking into account the lack of rigor apparent in the smaller muscle groups of the face and the dark colour of the blood, I would be inclined to believe that the deer died in excess of seventy two hours before the photographs were taken.
There is no possibility of determining cause of death from this series of photographs, but due to the butchering of the animal I would suggest cause of death as human as opposed to big cat attack.
The position of the deer’s carcass on top of the snow, and local weather data from 4th – 5th February 2012 confirms that the carcass was placed in position sometime in the early hours of the morning of 5/2/12. The fact that the snow has not melted either around the carcass or bloodstains further confirms that this animal was dead long before it arrived at its last resting place.