Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Man dead, woman injured in rare deer attack in regional Victoria

A Sambar deer at a national park in India. There is a significant population of the Sambar deer species in north-east Victoria in Australia Man dies in deer attack in Victoria
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2019, 12:56

An Australian father-of-two has died and his wife is fighting for her life after they were attacked by a deer they had kept as a pet on their property in the state of Victoria.

The man, 47, had gone to feed the stag on his property in Victoria when the attack happened on Wednesday morning.

The couple suffered critical injuries and Mr McDonald died a short time later.

His wife was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where she remains in a serious condition.

The deer has been euthanised.

The man and woman were walking on their property, south of the city of Wangaratta, when the animal came out of a bush and gored the man, police told the ABC.

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"They change their behaviour significantly during the mating season", he explained.

Moyhu is a small, close-knit community and the town has been rallying around the family, who also had sheep on their small property.

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.

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

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

"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. The Parks Department has proposed funding a bigger hunt to control the growing number of feral deer throughout Victoria.

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