Researchers in Texas studying body decomposition recently witnessed a Whitetail Deer eating human remains in the forest.
When you think of deer, what do you picture? Bambi? Dinner? Roadkill? Chances are "zombie" was not the first thought to come to mind. Yet, for the first time, photographs and videos show deer eating human remains.
In Marco, Texas, scientists run what is called a "body farm." They put legally obtained human remains in the forest and then wait to see how nature reacts. This research, as morbid as it sounds, is important to a number of different fields, including law enforcement. Observing how human bodies decay in different environments plays an important role in helping forensic teams solve murder investigations, for example.
One variable that researchers observe is how animals interact with human remains and contribute to the decomposition process. They expect to see bears, wolves, foxes, raccoons, and different bird species interact with remains. However, deer have always been assumed to be uninterested in eating humans. Until now.
This isn't the first time deer have shown a taste for blood, either. In the past, scientists and outdoorsmen have witnessed deer eating fish, bats and even rabbits. Yes, Bambi ate Thumper. But the image of a deer chomping on a human rib is much more unnerving, especially in black-and-white.
It was previously assumed that deer were herbivores, eating nuts, berries, and various types of plants. However, it is clear that humans are on the menu... in the right circumstances.
Scientists are quick to emphasize to the public that deer are not particularly dangerous. While people should not approach deer, especially bucks, in the wild, these woodland creatures aren't roaming the countryside thirsty for human blood. All of the evidence pointing to carnivorous deer was captured during winter months, leading scientists to reason that these deer became desperate for food and feasted on the only nourishment they could find.
So the next time you see Whitetails out in the woods or on the side of the road, fear not. They won't eat you. However, if the conditions were right and deer were desperate for food, they would have no problem eating your body.