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Man killed and woman badly injured after attack by pet deer

17 April 2019

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

Citing Victoria Police, the ABC reports the deer attacked the couple around 8:20am as they walked on their Moyhu property, some 25 kilometres south of Wangaratta.

The 46-year-old man entered the stag's enclosure in the morning at Moyhu in Victoria state, Police Sergeant Paul Pursell said.

"It's a very, very short sharp season where they get aggressive and fight with each other", said David Voss from Australian Deer Association, a hunters' lobby group.

Mr McDonald's wife and son heard the attack unfold, and ran to help.

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A local ambulance officer nearby was first on the scene.

The deer was euthanised due to concerns about the paramedic's safety on the scene.

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

The woman suffered life-threatening injuries after going to her husband's aid, local media said.

A study into Australian deaths caused by animals undertaken by the University of Melbourne's Dr Ronelle Welton showed no fatal deer attacks between 2000 to 2013.

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Police are continuing their investigations.

The family had kept the stag for six years and it was the only deer living on the property, along with a small number of sheep.

Sambar deer can weigh up to 230kg, according to Victoria's Game Management Authority.

He added that it's not unheard of for a deer to fatally attack humans in a domesticated scenario, adding: "Deers stop eating, they shed a huge percentage of their body weight".

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Man killed and woman badly injured after attack by pet deer