Forensiker haben zum ersten mal einen Hirsch (oder zwei, sie wissen nicht, ob es derselbe ist) beim Kauen auf Menschenknochen beobachtet. Die Tiere sind eigentlich Pflanzenfresser und leben in einem Waldstück in Texas, das zur Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (aka Body Farm) in San Marcos gehört. Der Stock, der da aus dem Maul von Bambi schaut, ist kein Stock, sondern eine Rippe. Bambi frisst hier ziemlich wortwörtlich Menschenrippchen mit Kraut. Yummy!
In July 2014, researchers left a body in a wooded part of [the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility]. They wanted to learn about how different scavengers leave their marks on human remains, so they set up a motion-sensitive camera to see who would stop by. In this part of Texas, it’s not unusual to see foxes, turkey vultures, raccoons, coyotes, and other carrion-gobblers picking at a corpse. But after a few months, someone new came to the table.
On January 5, 2015, the camera caught a glimpse of a young white-tailed deer standing near the skeleton with a human rib bone in its mouth. Then it happened again on January 13—the camera caught a deer with another rib sticking out of its mouth like a cigar. It’s not clear whether it was the same deer in both cases, but it's certainly possible first one came back for seconds.
It is not, however, the first time we’ve seen deer violating their vegetarian diets. In fact, they’re known to have a taste for blood. Previously they’ve been spotted eating fish, bats, and dead rabbits. Scientists think deer and other herbivores may occasionally seek out flesh to get minerals—such as phosphorus, salt, and calcium—that may be missing from their regular diets, especially in wintertime.