A man who kept exotic animals on his property was killed when a red deer gored him with its antlers, authorities said.

The body of John Henry Frix, 66, was found Sunday night inside the deer's pen on his property.

Frix had been gored several times in the upper body by a deer's antlers, Cherokee County sheriff's Sgt. Jay Baker said.

The deer was among the buffalo, llama, horses and other animals Frix raised on his property about 50 miles north of Atlanta where million-dollar mansions rub up against aging rural homesteads.

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His relatives told sheriff's deputies the deer had recently been acting hostile, probably due to rut -- the period when deer mate.

A family member later shot and killed the red deer, a European species that weighs about 400 pounds and is more than twice the size of the native white-tailed deer in the Southeast.

Deer kill about 150 people a year in the Unites States. But most of those deaths happen when deer are involved in collisions with automobiles.