VERPLANCK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A parking enforcement officer is now recovering from a vicious attack by a buck that landed her in the hospital.

The surprising close encounter happened in her fenced backyard, reports CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“She was yelling for help,” said neighbor Ernest Williams of Verplanck.

Rose Catalano, 75, ended up in the hospital after Williams rescued her by using a bolt cutters to break a lock and get her out of the yard where the deer had ended up.

“She was standing there,” said Williams. “She was complaining she was really hurt.”

Catalano’s son told CBS2 she spotted the buck in her backyard and, being an animal lover, tried to feed it. In a flash the buck charged, leaving her with cuts, bruises and a trip to the hospital.

“One deer that did this in a matter of seconds,” said Williams.

Exactly why the buck charged can’t be certain, but animal control officer Carol Tyler has her theories.

“No matter what, no matter how cute they look, they’re wild animals,” said Tyler, who works with animals in Hillsdale, N.J., and 25 other communities.

“Deer are definitely fight or flight animals, so if they can’t get away, they’re going to fight,” she said.

If this was the case in Catalano’s yard, the animal didn’t have an escape route and felt it needed to fight to survive.

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There is another possibility: It is still deer mating season.

“Male deer can be a little anxious and maybe overbearing,” she said. “It’s a buck, these things are about 200 pounds, they’re solid muscle,” said Tyler. “Someone can be seriously injured if you don’t give them the respect they deserve.”

Thankfully, in this case, Catalano’s injuries weren’t serious, but the aggressive encounter will likely leave a lasting impression.