A National Park First: 'Like Something Out of a Horror Movie'

Wolf went after family of 4 sleeping in their tent at Banff campground in Alberta, Canada
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2019 5:33 AM CDT
Terror-Filled Campsite Attack Stopped by a 'Guardian Angel'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/hkuchera)

"It was like something out of a horror movie." That's not how you want to remember a camping trip with your husband and two young sons, but per a Facebook post by Elisa Rispoli, that's how things went down Thursday night in Banff National Park after a wolf invaded their tent and tried to drag her spouse away. The CBC describes the attack from the perspective of Russ Fee, who was at a neighboring campsite at Rampart Creek Campground when he heard a man and woman screaming. As he rushed over to see what the commotion was, Fee says he saw the "back half of a wolf" attempting to yank Rispoli's husband, Matt, out of a wrecked tent. "It was just so much larger than any dog I've ever seen," he tells the Calgary Eyeopener. Fee figured he had enough momentum going as he ran over, so he sprinted up to it and kicked it, at which point it dropped Matt Rispoli and turned to face him.

Meanwhile, Elisa Rispoli describes the scene inside the tent. "Matt literally threw his body in front of me and the boys, and fought the Wolf as it ripped apart our tent and his arms and hands," she writes in a Facebook post. "I laid my body on top of the kids and Matt pinned the Wolf to the ground and held open its jaw with his hands, and the Wolf started to drag Matt away." That's when "guardian angel" Fee showed up. Once the wolf let go of Matt Rispoli, the two men yelled and threw rocks at it while their families fled to the Fees' minivan. Matt Rispoli suffered just scratches and puncture wounds on his hands and arms. Parks Canada officials found and killed the wolf, which they say was near death, noting that "tests have confirmed that the wolf was in poor condition ... [and that] the wolf's condition was likely a contributing factor for its unusual behavior." This is the first such attack of its kind in a Canadian national park. (Read more wolf attack stories.)

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