A man was killed and his wife critically injured on Wednesday when they were attacked by their pet deer on a rural Australian property, police said.
Paul McDonald was killed by his deer in Moyhu, near Wangaratta.
The couple's son and daughter have travelled to Melbourne to be with their mother in hospital. "His wife entered the enclosure to assist her husband and she was also attacked".
A police officer later shot the animal dead.
Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Pursell told Nine News the deer was being kept in an enclosure and was a cross between a red deer and an elk.
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.
Ambulance Victoria said the woman had been treated for upper body and leg injuries and had been flown to the Alfred hospital in a serious condition.
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Australian Deer Association's Barry Howlett warned that male deers grew aggressive and territorial during mating season, which was around this time of year.
'They are a wild animal and a wild animal that loses its fear of humans is a really unsafe thing, ' he told Herald Sun.
Autumn is mating, or rutting, season for many species of deer, and is a particularly risky time to be around the wild animals.
Sambar deer can weigh up to 230kg, according to Victoria's Game Management Authority.
Their numbers increased following the 2008 Black Saturday bushfires and calls have been made to cull the growing population.
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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