Australia deer attack kills man and injures woman, police say

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

"It's believed a man and woman were attacked by a deer on their property around 8.20am".

Police shot dead the deer, which the family had owned for about two years, to protect paramedics trying to save the couple.

Both people suffered critical injuries however the man died at the scene a short time later.

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

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

His wife was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where she remains in a serious condition.

'It might be quite docile for most of the year but when mating season is on, you don't go near them'.

The type of deer involved in the attack is not known.

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.

Voss said deer usually run away when humans approach, but this deer "had nowhere to run so he just attacked instead".

"Deer sightings and reports of public safety risk are becoming more common", the report said. "They stop doing everything except for finding a female partner and become extremely aggressive", Howlett said.

Victoria's deer population is primarily made up of four species: sambar, fallow, red and hog deer. The Parks Department has proposed funding a bigger hunt to control the growing number of feral deer throughout Victoria.