A Greek coroner says a missing British hiker whose dismembered, fleshless remains were found in the hills of northern Greece was probably attacked, torn apart and devoured by wolves.
Coroner Nikos Kifnidis said the ferocity of the animals was such that both the woman’s thigh bones had been cracked open by bites, and large sections of her body are still missing.
He said a vet at an autopsy conducted on Wednesday (local time) confirmed that no dog could have administered such bites.
“It seems like she may have been attacked by other wild animals, like rabid wolves and jackals,” he told Britain’s The Times.
The victim, Celia Lois Hollingworth, 63, had reportedly tried to contact family members in London after being attacked but lost signal on her phone.
The remains were found Saturday near the village of Petrota in Thrace, 285 kilometres east of the north-western city of Thessaloniki.
Near them, authorities found a passport for Ms Hollingworth whom the British embassy in Athens reported missing in the area on Friday.
Wolves roam remote parts of Greece and have been reported in the Petrota area, but attacks on humans are very rare, and no fatal attacks have been reported in decades.
Mr Kifnidis said there was a slight possibility that Ms Hollingworth fell victim to a criminal attack by another human, but added “this is unlikely, as she herself phoned her brother and said she was being attacked by dogs”.
Tests on animal hairs found among the remains are expected to identify the carnivores, he added.
According to British media reports, police said Ms Hollingworth had been visiting an archaeological site last week, where she arrived by taxi from the village of Maroneia — home to another ancient site.
She was last seen alive later during the day on a path that forms a shortcut between the two sites.
The remains were found in the hills farther inland, toward Petrota.