Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals - Chapter 2: Forensic Wildlife Pathology

Elsevier, Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals, 2018, Pages 21-40
Tabitha C. Viner, Rebecca A. Kagan

Forensic pathology is the postmortem examination done as part of a legal investigation. There are many areas where wildlife pathology and forensic pathology intersect. In the United States of America, there are numerous federal, state, and local laws that regulate human activity with regards to wildlife. Discussed in this chapter are those that may be most commonly encountered by the veterinary pathologist, including mortalities associated with vehicle and structural collisions, energy infrastructure, environmental and regulated toxins, and firearms. As with wildlife disease investigation, there are challenges associated with dead animals found in the wild. The postmortem examination of skeletonized, scavenged, and/or frozen remains may still yield valuable information on the cause of and time since death. Extensive documentation of the forensic examination through photography, detailed notes, and a thorough report, as well as maintenance of the integrity of the evidence collected and examined will build a strong case that will withstand legal scrutiny.