Deer attack: Man dead, woman fighting for life

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 Sambar deer at a national park in India. There is a significant population of the Sambar deer species in north-east Victoria in Australia

The animal, a cross between an elk and deer, attacked shortly after the man entered the enclosure on his property near the town of Wangaratta, 200 km northeast of Melbourne in Victoria state.

Mr McDonald's wife, Mandi, 45, and their son rushed to provide assistance when they heard a noises.

His wife, Mandi McDonald, was then attacked when she tried to help her husband.

"Deer are much less likely to attack anyone than they are to run away from them", he said.

The woman suffered life-threatening upper-body and leg injuries and was treated at the property by paramedics.

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

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"It is unusual, but not unheard of, for captive deer to attack humans, particularly during the Autumn mating season", the association said in a statement.

In the nine years to 2017, Australia has not logged any deaths directly caused by deer, though 77 deaths were linked to cows and horses, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported, citing the national statistics agency.

A warning has been issued after a man was killed by a deer in Victoria.

'They are a wild animal and a wild animal that loses its fear of humans is a really unsafe thing, ' he told Herald Sun. Howlett said fallow and red deer become particularly aggressive during the mating season.

Deer are not native to Australia and there are now large numbers of feral deer in parts of the country.

"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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