Australia deer attack kills man and injures woman, police say

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A man has been killed by a deer in a rare attack on a rural property in southern Australia, authorities say.

The animal attacked the man and a woman early on Wednesday in the state of Victoria, according to police.

The woman suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital for treatment.

A study into deaths caused by animals in Australia between 2000 and 2013 did not record any fatal deer attacks, said author Dr Ronelle Welton.

Police said they had euthanised the deer on the property near Wangaratta, about 250km (155 miles) north-east of Melbourne.

The incident would be investigated, they added.

A state government report last year noted: “Deer sightings and reports of public safety risk are becoming more common.”

It said the state’s growing deer population, now at around one million, had been responsible for road collisions and infrastructure damage.

However, Dr Welton told the BBC that she was not aware of any wild deer attacks in coroner’s records in Australia.

Police did not identify the species of deer suspected of killing the man. Sambar, fallow, red and hog deer are all found in Victoria.

Parks Victoria classifies deer – which are not native to Australia – as a threat to vegetation in national parks.

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