Dad left 'ripped apart' after defending his family from wolf during camping trip
A woman has opened up about a horrifying experience she had with her family during a camping trip. Elisa and Matt Rispoli and their children woke up to a wolf attacking their tent, and allegedly attempting to rip Matt apart.
Taking to Facebook to share the alarming tale, Elisa revealed that the incident took place in the Canadian Banff National Park, and that the encounter was "like something out of a horror movie".
Learn more about the terrifying encounter:
"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 explained. "We were screaming for help as he was fighting it and trying to save us, for what felt like an eternity (but I think was anywhere from 1-3 minutes) [sic]."
Elisa then laid her body on top of her sons in a bid to protect them. Meanwhile, her husband pinned the wolf to the ground and held open its jaw with his hands. However, the situation seemed to go from bad to worse when the wolf began dragging Matt away.
"I was pulling on his legs trying to get him back," Elisa recalled. "I cannot and don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly describe the terror."
Had it not been for Russ, a "guardian angel" in the tent next to the family, it could have been fatal for Matt - and potentially for the rest of the family too.
Russ heard the family's screams and came over to their site and kicked the wolf, prompting the creature to finally let go of Matt.
"They had to continue to throw huge rocks at the wolf while we ran as fast as we could to Russ' minivan to safety, [sic]" Elisa added.
After the family's close brush with death, Matt was taken to Banff Hospital where the puncture wounds and lacerations on his hands and arms were treated. The doting dad and husband recovered incredibly well considering what had transpired.
"We are pretty traumatized but ok," Elisa continued. "They evacuated the campground and Parks Canada killed the wolf in the early morning today."
"It could have been so so much worse, and we are just feeling so thankful that we are all still sitting here as a complete family. Matt is our absolute hero (I mean, way more than he normally was) and we are forever grateful to Russ who came to our aid and likely saved Matt’s life. I love you Matthew- thank you for being our hero, a complete f**king badass and for fighting with everything in you [sic]."
Rampart Creek Campground was temporarily closed following the attack, a spokesperson for Parks Canada confirmed in a press release.
After an investigation into the incident, it reopened on Monday. Spokesperson Lesley Matheson said the wolf has since been tracked down and killed "to ensure public safety".
"Veterinary tests have confirmed that the wolf was in poor condition and likely nearing the end of its natural life span," Matheson said. "The wolf's condition was likely a contributing factor for its unusual behaviour and this remains a very rare incident."