New Zealand firefighter killed on his farm by stag

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) — A New Zealand firefighter was killed by a stag that attacked him on his farm.

Police said the man was attacked on Wednesday evening at his property in the town of Makarewa and suffered fatal injuries. Police said the stag was euthanised and a coroner would investigate the man’s death.

Ben McLean had been a volunteer and professional firefighter for 43 years, according to the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union.

It said McLean’s own colleagues had been called out to respond to the attack.

“He was highly respected by his crews and colleagues and will be remembered as a true character of the Invercargill brigade,” National Secretary Wattie Watson said in a statement. McLean helped fight a house fire the night before his death, Stuff reported.

It is currently the mating season for deer in New Zealand, a time when stags can become more aggressive and combative.