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

Cheryl Sanders
April 17, 2019

The animal was then killed "due to concerns for the paramedic's safety on scene", police said.

The couple suffered critical injuries and Mr McDonald died a short time later.

The family had kept the stag for six years and it was the only deer living on the property, along with a small number of sheep.

Ambulance Victoria said the woman was treated for upper body and leg injuries and was flown to the Alfred hospital in a serious condition.


Paul and Mandi McDonald, 45, were at their Moyhu farm, about 260km from Melbourne, on Wednesday morning when the tragedy occurred.

Local resident Patrice Larkin said she knew the couple well. Voss said deer usually run away when humans approach, but this deer "had nowhere to run so he just attacked instead".

Stags grow sharp antlers and, filled with testosterone, aggressively fight with each other and other animals, including cows.

Australian Deer Association's Barry Howlett told the Herald Sun it's now mating season for deer and many will become aggressive and territorial.


'They are a wild animal and a wild animal that loses its fear of humans is a really risky thing, ' he told Herald Sun. Deer have been reported in backyards and schools, and rutting deer have been seen harassing cattle. Howlett said fallow and red deer become particularly aggressive during the mating season.

The Australian Deer Association said it was rare for deer to attack people.

About 100,000 are shot every year in a hunting trade worth about A$140 million (NZ149.5 million) to the state.


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