updated 8/19/2007 5:03:10 PM ET 2007-08-19T21:03:10

An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present, police said Sunday.

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The woman, whose name has not been released, was killed Saturday at her family sheep and cattle ranch near Mitchell, 350 miles west of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, state police Detective Senior Constable Craig Gregory said.

The 10-month-old male — weighing about 330 pounds — had knocked her to the ground then lay on top of her in what police suspect was mating behavior, Gregory said.

Camel expert Chris Hill agreed with Gregory.

Hill, who has offered camel rides to tourists for 20 years, said young camels are not aggressive but can be dangerous if treated as pets without discipline.

The woman was given the hand-reared camel in March as a birthday present from her husband and daughter.

The fate of the camel is not known.

An autopsy of the woman will determine the precise cause of death within days.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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