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Pregnant woman, 29, mauled to death by dogs while walking near her home in northern France

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A 29-year-old pregnant woman has been mauled to death by a pack of dogs while she was out walking near her house in northern France, according to local prosecutors.

The victim, who has been named locally as Elisa Pilarski, was walking her own dog through Retz forest, near Villers-Cotterets, on Saturday, when she was attacked.

She had earlier described coming across some "threatening dogs" in a phonecall to her partner, who later found her body after going out to look for her.

Following a post-mortem, the prosecutor said Pilarski had died from "bleeding after several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head."

He added that several of the bites had been suffered after her death.

Local police have since launched a manslaughter investigation and have conducted tests on 93 dogs, including hounds from a hunt that was ongoing nearby at the time the attack, and five of the victim's own dogs.

Dozens of people have also added condolence messages to Pilarski's Facebook page, where she had regularly posted about her dogs and uploaded a picture of herself earlier this month to share an update on her pregnancy.

Meanwhile, a woman connected to the hunt on Saturday told L'Union that she believed the two weren't connected.

"To our knowledge, the tragic accident that occurred has no relation neither with our dogs, nor with the hunt with hounds," she said.

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot wrote a letter to the French ecology minister Elisabeth Borne as a response to the incident, and called for an immediate suspension to hunting season.

"I follow, as all the French, upset and deeply scandalised," she wrote in the letter, which was published to Twitter.

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