Pet deer kills man and badly injures woman in Victoria

Man dies in deer attack in Victoria

Paul McDonald was feeding the deer at his property in Moyhu, near Wangaratta, about 8.20am today when the animal attacked.

A teenage son saved his mother by hitting the deer with a lump of wood, it said.

McDonald, a farmer who did odd jobs at other properties in the area, died from his injuries at the scene shortly after the attack.

Voss said deer usually run away when humans approach, but this deer "had nowhere to run so he just attacked instead".

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.

At time of publication, the ABC reported she had been air lifted to a Melbourne hospital and was in critical condition.

Local reports do not specify the injuries to the man, but according to the BBC, he was gored.

Red deer can be successfully bred with the larger wapiti species of deer-but they do not produce fertile offspring.

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Deer were introduced into Australia in the 19th century, largely for hunting purposes.

The southern hemisphere is now in the middle of the autumn mating season.

Barry Howlett, Executive Officer of the Australian Deer Association, said deer attacks weren't uncommon.

State authorities have recently warned that numbers of feral deer have increased to more than one million.

A recent study into all deaths caused by animals in Australia between 2000 and 2013 found none had involved deer.

She is said to be a passionate gardener and has owned a nursery in Wangaratta for three years, after taking over the 20-year-old business from her father.

The attack occurred again in the autumn mating season.

"Stags are wild animals and they are especially unpredictable at this time of year and can act defensively if they are aggravated or feel cornered; they are immensely strong and can move very fast to defend themselves even from laying down when resting".

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