Pregnant woman mauled to death by dogs while walking in forest near to deer hunt

Ellena Cruse

A pregnant woman was mauled to death by a pack of dogs while walking through a forest, close to where a hunt was taking place.

Elisa Pilarski, 29, was ambling through the Forest of Retz in northern France when she noticed several canines around her, the Courrier Picard reported.

Feeling threatened, the woman, who was six months' pregnant, called her husband. By the time he located her, she had already been attacked, the newspaper said.

Mrs Pilarski had been bitten on her thighs, calves and head. Her autopsy recorded a cause of death as haemorrhage following several dog bites.

The forest where Mrs Pilarski was bitten (Google StreetView)

Police have launched a manslaughter investigation. Officers are taking DNA samples from 93 dogs in the area, including several that were involved in an organised hunt nearby.

Officers are working to establish who owned the dogs who attacked the woman.

Brigitte Bardot, president of her eponymous animal welfare foundation, said she was deeply shocked by the incident.

She penned a letter to French minister for ecological transition Elisabeth Borne asking for all planned hunts to be suspended “immediately”.

The French hunting association said in a statement that “nothing shows the involvement of hunting hounds in the death of this woman”.

It added that their dogs are trained to hunt particular animals and “obey man” in all circumstances.