A pet deer has gored a man to death and seriously injured his wife in a rare attack in Australia, police say.
Paul McDonald, 46, was feeding the deer at his property in Moyhu, near Wangaratta, about 8.20am on Wednesday when the animal attacked. The man died a short time later and the woman was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
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.
The deer has been euthanised.
'It might be quite docile for most of the year but when mating season is on, you don't go near them'.
A recent study into all deaths caused by animals in Australia between 2000 and 2013 found none had involved deer.
ABC reported the stag had been kept at the property near the town of Wangaratta, 200km northeast of Melbourne, for six years.
As many as a million wild deer are thought to be living in Victoria, according to a 2017 state government report. "There is a large family network and the [people] we've spoken to... it's beyond words how affected they are by this incident".
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". The Parks Department has proposed funding a bigger hunt to control the growing number of feral deer throughout Victoria.
He said the deer was a cross between a Red Deer and an Elk, known as a Wapiti.