Pet deer in Australia kills man, injures his wife

One Person Dead Another Critically Injured After Feral Deer Attack In VIC

A pet deer killed a man and badly injured his wife in Australia, police said on Wednesday (local time), the first known attack in years though it occurred during mating season when the animals are bad tempered.

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 wife received life-threatening and remains in a critical condition at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

The deer has been euthanised.

"At some point in time while he was inside the enclosure, he was attacked by the deer", Victoria Police Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Purcell Paul Purcell said.

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

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.

He said the family was "very traumatised".

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

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

"It's not an everyday occurrence, but it's not unheard of for deer to kill people in that situation", he said. "It's beyond words how they've been affected by this incident today", he said.

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

Deer are not native to Australia and there are now large numbers of feral deer in parts of the country.

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