02/06/2014 08:16 EST | Updated 04/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Quebec couple tries to save deer with head stuck in bucket

A deer in western Quebec is famished because a bucket is stuck on its head, so government officials and the woman who feeds the deer are trying to catch the animal to save it.

Last Sunday, Diane Leonardo watched deer gather at a feeder in the backyard of her home in Lac Simon, Que., about an hour northeast of Gatineau. Then she saw one of the animals in some discomfort, as it had a bucket stuck on its head.

“My heart fell to my feet. We have 12 deer, we have deer here all the time,” said Leonardo. “It was a shock. You know immediately that he couldn’t get it off himself.”

The deer has been without food or water for at least five days due to the bucket.

Officials with Quebec’s ministry of natural resources came and tried to catch the deer with a net, but failed. They came back another day and tried to tranquilize the animal, but it ran off.

Leonardo said workers gave up on Tuesday when it became too dark.

Deer returns each morning

The deer has returned each morning, though, and Leonardo’s husband laid out straw to lure the animal to a warm resting place. They hope officials can then catch it then and take the bucket off.

The bucket is believed to have a metal handle that is struck behind the deer’s ears. Leonardo said she feels bad and will cut handles off her buckets from now on.

For now, she’s still focused on saving this deer.

“It’s very cold and (deer) need calories. They need calories and he’s not been eating anything,” she said.

Officials continued their rescue efforts Thursday morning. They admit if they can’t catch the animal, workers might kill the deer out of compassion.