Couple killed by rogue ram not the first such attack in New Zealand, expert says

  • 19/04/2024

A couple believed to have been killed by a rogue ram in Auckland this week wasn't the first such attack in New Zealand, an expert says 

The couple, in their 80s, were found dead in their Waitākere paddock on Thursday. The same animal was also believed to have injured another family member. 

After authorities undertook a risk assessment, the ram was shot dead. The animal also charged at officers when they arrived at the scene. 

Wairere Rams principal Derek Daniell said although he and his team have handled more than 100,000 of the animals and have not had one incident, he warned they could become dangerous. 

"There was a local farmer's wife killed about three or four years ago by a ram - a pet ram," he told AM on Friday. 

"When you get into the breeding season, which is now... they start to become territorial, they don't want any human between them and ewes and so-on, and they become dangerous. 

"The same thing with stags - pet stags - there was a local lady killed 20 years ago by a pet stag and yet there are thousands of hunters out in the bush during 'the roar'... and they can get within 8-10 metres of a stag in thick bush." 

Daniell warned against not castrating a pet ram from a young age. 

"The same applies for a pet deer," he told AM. "Stallions are also dangerous." 

Police investigations into the death were continuing on behalf of the coroner and a post-mortem was being carried out on Friday. 

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