WATCH: Deer, Elk Eat Different Forms of Meat, Including Human Remains

by Matthew Memrick
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Once seen as innocent, deer have feasted on all kinds of dead meat, including rabbits, fish, bats, birds, and even human remains.

Could you not call them zombies, though? They could get desperate sometimes, and humans may taste like chicken to them.

And don’t be alarmed; these instances have been caught on video for years now. In April, Field and Stream compiled a group of videos where the animal is eating various deceased things.

“Deer eat a lot of unusual things,” National Deer Association biologist Kip Adams told Field and Stream. “For example, there are accounts of deer eating spent shell casings at shooting ranges. There are other accounts of them eating bones, and other accounts of them eating eggs and recently hatched chicks. Most of these instances are likely nutritionally related — protein, energy, minerals— but some may be experimental.”

Deer Caught Eating Human On Tape

Before 2014, scientists only thought the particular animal chewed on animal bones, especially dry bones with a rectangular cross-section.

But in July 2014, Forensic Anthropology Research Facility researchers, set up a camera to see animals eating human remains. Soon enough, they caught deer munching on a corpse at the Texas farm. Soon after, the video caught two more instances in 2015 with the animal eating human bones.

Popular Science quoted the study, saying that: (deer) cause the most damage on the ends of the bone, where the zigzag motions of their jaws leave behind a “stripped, forked pattern in the bone.” Carnivores, by contrast, seek out fresher remains and leave punctures and pits in the bone.

According to National Geographic, deer may go after human flesh for minerals like salt and calcium in the winter months. Plant life is in short supply.

Forensic scientists found the study helpful. They looked at the study to determine other facts, like how long a body has decomposed and what teeth marks are on bodies. Also, they can now broaden the pool of particular scavengers found at crime scenes.

There are some critics of the phenomena, however. Bowhunting.com’s Brodie Swisher called a London (UK) Telegraph story “clickbait” in 2017. He guessed that the animal was “just playing” with the bones. Also, the video’s time frame did not impress him. He pointed out that the animal showed up on video six months after the body was on the farm area in 2014.

He related little concern about the deer unless they were in a herd, munching on the bones.

But then again, Smithsonian Magazine reported another 2015 incident. Then, North Dakota researchers set up nest cams to monitor songbirds. There, they discovered that white-tailed deer would slurp baby birds out of their nests like candy. Deer hit more nests than weasels and foxes.

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