Deer kills man, injures woman in attack north of Melbourne

Posted April 17, 2019

Paul McDonald, 47, had gone out to feed the animal on the property at Moyhu, south of Wangaratta, when the deer attacked him about 8:20am.

Mr McDonald's wife and son heard the attack unfold, and ran to help.

The couple were named as Mandi and Paul McDonald.

Australian Deer Association's Barry Howlett warned that male deers grew aggressive and territorial during mating season, which was around this time of year.

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Mr McDonald died from his injuries at the scene while his wife was flown to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne with life-threatening injuries to her upper body and leg.

She also works at a local cafe and had recently penned columns for the local paper, the Wangaratta Chronicle.

"At some point while he was in the enclosure he was attacked by the deer", Acting Senior Sargent Paul Purcell said.

Police confirmed officers shot the deer a number of times for the safety of the family and the attending paramedic.

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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.

A man has been killed by a near on a property in Victoria. Deer have been reported in backyards and schools, and rutting deer have been seen harassing cattle.

Deer were introduced to Australia in the 19th century. Howlett said fallow and red deer become particularly aggressive during the mating season.

"There's still some people with serious velveting operations, and there's hobbyists who keep deer in a pen because they're an exotic novelty".

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