Pet deer kills man and injures wife in rural Australia

Police said it’s believed a man and woman were attacked by a deer on their property

Police said it’s believed a man and woman were attacked by a deer on their property

A pet deer has attacked and killed a man and seriously injured his wife in Victoria's north-east.

Paul McDonald, 47, had gone out to feed the animal on the property at Moyhu, south of Wangaratta, when the deer attacked him about 8:20am.

They added: "Both residents suffered critical injuries however the man died a short time later".

Ambulance Victoria said McDonald's wife Mandi was treated for upper body and leg injuries and flown to The Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The deer has been euthanised.

Police said it was believed the couple had been attacked by a pet deer on their property.

Autumn is mating, or rutting, season for many species of deer, and is a particularly risky time to be around the wild animals.

He said the family was "very traumatised".

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The type of deer involved in the attack is not known.

A deer which was kept at the property.

Sambar deer can weigh up to 230kg, according to Victoria's Game Management Authority. "It's beyond words how they've been affected by this incident today", he said.

But feral populations have since expanded across the country with increasing calls for greater controls in many areas where they are considered a pest.

Police say the deer was a Wapiti - a cross between a Red deer and an Elk.

"It is unusual, but not unheard of, for captive deer to attack humans, particularly during the Autumn mating season", the association said in a statement.

Parks Victoria classifies deer - which are not native to Australia - as a threat to vegetation in national parks.

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