Its abdomen had been opened and organs - including the heart and liver - were missing, presumed eaten. Most tellingly, the deer's snout was severed. This was a critical clue, as big cats are known to clamp their jaws around those of their prey. Pictures of the deer's body can be seen on the website of the Stroud News and Journal.
Dr. Robin Allaby - a professor of life sciences at Warwick University - was called in, along with two of the UK's best known big cat hunters/experts and saliva samples were sent for testing to help identify the killer. A photograph of the corpse was sent to a big cat expert in South Africa who declared it to be the work of a panther or puma.
As yet, the results of the tests are unknown.