The Deer a Man Kept as a Pet Ends Up Killing Him

Family is 'devastated' after rare attack in Australia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2019 9:37 AM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2019 2:09 PM CDT
A stock photo of a red deer.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A pet deer killed an Australian man and left his wife in critical condition Wednesday. Paul McDonald, 47, went to feed the animal—a cross between a red deer and an elk—when it attacked him inside an enclosure on the couple's property in Moyhu, Victoria, reports ABC News. Mandi McDonald was likewise set upon as she arrived following the commotion, per Sky News, though ABC reports the couple's teenage son saved her by hitting the deer with a chunk of wood.

Mandi was taken to a hospital in critical condition with life-threatening upper body and leg injuries after police shot the deer, per News.com.au. Officer Paul Pursell called it an "absolute tragedy," adding "the family is just devastated." A rep for the Australian Deer Association describes such an attack as rare but says farmed deer are usually more aggressive than wild ones. ABC reports the family had the deer since 2013; other outlets report it was kept for two years. (A deer previously killed a French hunter.)

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