Here is the first autopsy report on the wolf that was killed during the hunt.
“We, Francois Boulanger, sworn Master surgeon of the town of Saugues, declare to have done the opening by order of Mr Antoine, which after having emptied it and taken out the Entrails, have found several shreds of flesh and bones, which bones we were not able to properly distinguish, except for a few mutton ribs; the opening was done in presence of Mr Antoine, his Son, Mr de la Font, Messrs the Gamekeepers and the Inhabitants of Besset and others. I certify the present Report sincere and true.’
This document is dated 21 September 1765 and is signed by the surgeon.
The report written by the Lieutenant of the King’s First Surgeon is more detailed.
“I, the undersigned, Charles Jaladon, Master and demonstrator in surgery, Lieutenant of the First Surgeon of the King, Surgeon-Major of the Regiment of Riom, Member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Clermont-Ferrand, certify that in virtue of the Orders of Mr de Ballainvilliers, Intendant of the Province of Auvergne, I transported myself to his Hotel in order to see and examine the ferocious Beast which had wreaked such havoc in the Gevaudan and the Mountains of Auvergne, on which I noticed the scars and wounds which will be mentioned below; and having had it transported to my place I very carefully examined it on all parts of its body, in presence of Mr Benoit Duvernin, Doctor in Medecine and Doyen of his College, and of Messrs Francois Farghon, Master in Surgery, Prevot of the Company, Jean-Baptiste Raymond also Master and demonstrator in surgery who was kind enough to assist me in the examination and dissection of the said animal, which resulted in the following remarks:
“1. That the animal was starting to fall into putrefaction, which was manifested by the smell, the shedding of fur and the skin;
“2. A scar on the inside of the base of the right shoulder, which penetrated to the muscle;
“3. Several scars on both wrists, or on the lower front part of the front legs;
“4. Two holes situated on the back part of both thighs, which appear to have been made by a bullet;
“5. A blow which had pierced the globe of the right eye, penetrated inside the head, and fractured the bone at the base of the skull, and had killed the animal; which blow appears to have been made by a bullet;
“6. A scar behind the left ear;
“7. Another scar penetrating obliquely into the flesh on the middle back part of the right shoulder;
“8. The skin pierced in different places by large lead pellets or shot, particularly in the left flank;
“9. Several pellets of different sizes were found in the inside parts of this animal;
“10. The muscles of the neck, of the lumbar region, of the back and of the lower jaw are massive and of a strength well above that of ordinary Wolves; all of the other proportions are also more considerable than in these species of animal;
“11. After having removed the teguments, the fat and the muscular parts already necrosed; I dried the fleshy parts with the liqueur deemed suitable by Mr de Buffon, then with terebenthine spirit, I placed in between the muscles the powders and balms used in embalming; the cavities were filled with perfumed powders and balsamic balms; with antiputrid salt; all the outside parts spread with the same powder and on top the ordinary liniment; the whole covered by the skin;
“12. The skin of this animal was so degraded that all of its long fur had fallen out, the part which covers the abdomen, in particular between the thighs, had had its epiderm removed, as well as a few parts of the skin, following necrosis;
13. All the other proportions are diminished in volume by drying out, it can be seen by the following table;
“Number of teeth
“1. On the upper jaw eighteen; that is, six incisives, two defensives and ten molars, six on the right side and four on the left side, and ready to pierce on the same side;
“2. On the lower jaw twenty-two: that is, six incisives, two canines or defensives, and fourteen molars; there are seven on each side.
“The present report is sincere and true: in proof of which I have signed with those named below.
“At Clermont-Ferrand on twenty-seventh September 1765.
“Signed: JALADON, Lieutenant of the King’s First Surgeon; DUVERNIN, Docteur in Medecine and doyen of his college; FARGHON, Master in Surgery and Prevot of the Company; RAYMOND, also Master and demonstrator in surgery.”
They thought themselves forever rid of the Beast, and for several months, nothing was heard of it. But, in January 1766, bloody traces were seen in the snow which covered the ground, and new bodies, all of them with special mutilations, showed that it was still alive.
Fourth part tomorrow.