Man dead and woman injured in deer attack in Moyhu near Wangaratta

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

A pet deer killed a man and left a woman critically injured at a rural property in Australia, police said.

Paramedics were called to Moyhu, near Wangaratta, just before 8.30am. According to ABC, her son then entered, and hit the deer over the head with a lump of wood and dragged her to safety.

He said the family was "very traumatised".

Ambulance Victoria said McDonald's wife Mandi was treated for upper body and leg injuries and flown to The Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries.

He said it was not the first time he had heard of a deer killing a human during mating season.

"This distressing incident is an unfortunate but powerful warning to everyone why it is risky to approach stags during the autumn rutting season, and at any time in fact", said Bill Swan, assistant park manager, Bushy Park at the time.

The animal, described as a cross between a red deer and an elk, had been kept by the couple as a pet for about 6 years.

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"They'd come in the shop every second or third day".

"An animal that would be otherwise docile for 10 months in the year, is an animal you really don't want to be around for two months", he told the news outlet. A deer. Their pet deer. "We didn't know what was happening".

The ABC quoted Steve Garlick, chairman of the deer management committee at the Australian Deer Association as saying: "Deer are much less likely to attack anyone than they are to run away from them".

Autumn is mating, or rutting, season for many species of deer, and is a particularly unsafe time to be around the wild animals.

The deer was euthanised by police at the scene.

Officers will prepare a report for the coroner.

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