Pet deer kills man and injures wife in rural Australia
A deer is seen walking through the forest in Maple Ridge, B.C. Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward)
MELBOURNE, Australia -- 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.
The 46-year-old man entered the stag's enclosure in the morning at Moyhu in Victoria state, Police Sergeant Paul Pursell said.
"His wife and son heard the commotion and went out to see what was going on," Pursell told reporters. "His wife entered the enclosure to assist her husband and she was also attacked."
Police shot the deer before a paramedic treated the couple.
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 stag was a cross between a red deer and an elk, Pursell said. The family had kept the animal for about two years.
Pursell warned that deer behaviour could be unpredictable.
David Voss, president of the Australian Deer Association, a hunting and deer management organization, said farmed deer tend to be more aggressive than wild deer, but he had only heard of similar attacks "very occasionally."
Deer were introduced to Australia by British settlers in the 19th century and have established wild populations.