Man dead, woman injured in rare deer attack in regional Victoria

A man and woman were attacked by a deer on their property near Wangaratta Wednesday morning. Source: Facebook

A man has died and a woman has been seriously injured after they were attacked by their 'pet' deer in country Victoria.

A man has died in a rare deer attack in Victoria's north-east, while his wife has been flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries.  

Paul McDonald, 47, was feeding the deer at his property in Moyhu, near Wangaratta, on Wednesday morning when the animal attacked, his brother told Nine News.

"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. 

Police say the family kept the deer as a pet on the Moyhu property.
Police say the family kept the deer as a pet on the Moyhu property.

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

Mrs McDonald entered the enclosure and was also attacked before her son dragged her away from the family pet of two years.  

A local ambulance officer nearby was first on the scene.

"The deer was shot a couple of times for the safety of the male and female,"  Acting Senior Sargent Purcell said. 

"They were treated by the ambulance officer outside the enclosure but unfortunately the injuries to the male were fatal."

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

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

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. 

Police are continuing their investigations. 


Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch