A pregnant woman was killed by dogs in a forest in France as a hunt took place nearby, investigators have said.
The body of the 29-year-old woman, who was walking her own dogs at the time of the attack, was found in the forest of Retz outside the northeastern village of Saint-Pierre Aigle on Saturday.
An autopsy revealed that the woman had died of “bleeding from several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs as well as to the head,” prosecutor Frederic Trinh said in a statement Wednesday.
An investigation was opened into involuntary manslaughter by dog attack, the prosecutor said.
The woman’s partner said that she had gone for a walk with her dog and later called him to report the presence of threatening dogs, Trinh said.
“I went to the forest, I saw her 4x4. I looked for her and I met some hunting dogs, a rider, and then I called (our dog) Curtis and that’s when Curtis warned me by barking,” the woman’s partner, identified as Christophe, told CNN affiliate BFMTV.
“I walked towards the precipice, the ravine, I saw thirty dogs arrive so I moved away,” Christophe told BFMTV.
The man told BFMTV that he found the body of his partner, who was undressed and had been bitten all over her body.
Investigations are ongoing to determine which dogs attacked the woman.
Officials confirmed in a statement that saliva samples had been taken from 67 dogs, including those belonging to a hunt which had been organized nearby, as well as the victim’s own dogs.
Hunting organization Société de Vènerie said in a statement issued Tuesday that a hunt involving pack dogs took place in the forest on Saturday.
The organization said that the society’s 30,000 hounds are trained to hunt wild animals and obey humans in all cases, and that all dogs in the hunting party had undergone saliva testing.