A man has been killed and his wife was critically injured when they were attacked by their pet deer on a rural Australian property.

Police said the 46-year-old man, Paul McDonald, entered the stag’s enclosure in the morning at Moyhu in Victoria state.

Sergeant Paul Pursell said: “His wife and son heard the commotion and went out to see what was going on.

“His wife entered the enclosure to assist her husband and she was also attacked.”

Police shot the deer before a paramedic treated the couple.

Mr McDonald died at the scene and his wife, Mandi, was flown by helicopter to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where her condition was described as critical.

The stag was a cross between a red deer and an elk, Sgt Pursell said. The family had kept the animal for about two years.

Sgt Pursell warned that deer behaviour could be unpredictable.

David Voss, president of hunting and management organisation the Australian Deer Association, said farmed deer tend to be more aggressive than wild deer, but he had only heard of attacks “very occasionally”.

Deer were introduced to Australia by British settlers in the 19th century and have established wild populations.

Mandi and Paul McDonald. Pic: Facebook

– Press Association

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