Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pet Deer Kills Owner, Then Nearly Kills His Wife

Pet Deer Kills Owner, Then Nearly Kills His Wife

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

Emergency services were called to a rural address in Moyhu near Wangaratta, in the state's northeast, after Paul McDonald, 46, and his wife Mandi, 45, were attacked by their pet deer on Wednesday morning.

McDonald's wife, Mandi, rushed into the enclosure and was herself attacked.

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

The husband died at the scene and his wife was flown by helicopter to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where she condition was described as critical.

A local ambulance officer nearby was first on the scene.

David Voss, president of the Australian Deer Association, a hunting and deer management organization, said farmed deer tend to be more aggressive than wild deer, but he had only heard of similar attacks "very occasionally".

The couple's son and daughter are staying with family in Melbourne in the meantime.

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A red deer stag waits to be fed by tourists in Glen Coe, Scotland on December 1, 2017.

The family had had the animal for about six years, it was reported.

"They'd come in the shop every second or third day". The male stag, which the couple had owned for two years, shifted his attention and aggression toward her. "You just can't believe it".

"It's tragic but not unheard of", Mr Howlett said. "We didn't know what was happening".

Even the most friendly and docile male deers can become very aggressive and risky in mating season, according to the Australian Deer Association's Barry Howlett.

"At some point while he was in the enclosure he was attacked by the deer", Acting Senior Sargent Paul Purcell said.

"The majority of encounters most people will have with deer is with deer fleeing in the opposite direction."

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