Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for a Moyhu family after their father was killed and their mother critically injured by their pet deer last week.
Paul McDonald, 46, entered the stag’s enclosure last Wednesday morning at Moyhu, near Wangaratta, when he was attacked by the animal.
‘‘His wife and son heard the commotion and went out to see what was going on,’’ Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Pursell said.
‘‘His wife entered the enclosure to assist her husband and she was also attacked.’’
A nearby ambulance officer rushed to the scene and when police arrived, they shot the deer a number of times to protect the paramedic as he treated Mr McDonald and his injured wife Mandi.
He died at the scene while Mrs McDonald was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital where she remained in a critical condition on Monday morning.
The couple’s children Ethan and Jemma have started a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical costs and thanked everyone for their love and support.
By Monday morning the $10000 goal had been eclipsed by more than $17000.
‘‘Our world has been turned upside down and with Mum being so sick it’s up to us to look after things until she gets better,’’ Jemma wrote on the GoFundMe page.
‘‘I never thought I would ever have to do this and it’s the hardest journey Ethan and I have ever been on ... Our Mum is the strongest, most generous, kind-hearted person you could ever meet and we just want to show her how much she is loved.’’
Snr Sgt Pursell said the incident was an ‘‘absolute tragedy’’.
The stag was a cross between a red deer and an elk and the family had kept the animal for about two years.
‘‘The family are just devastated. There is a large family network and the ones we’ve spoken to, it’s beyond words how affected they are,’’ Snr Sgt Pursell said.
■Those wishing to donate can visit the McDonalds’ GoFundMe page at: gofundme.com/helpthemcdonaldfamily