On Friday, Banff National Park was closed after a rare wolf attack that sent a camper to the hospital.
That camper was Matt Rispoli, a father of two, who is now recovering from multiple puncture wounds and lacerations.
His wife Elisa, who was sleeping with Matt and their two kids inside the family’s tent when the attack happened, took to Facebook to share details of the scary incident and her husband’s heroics.
“It was like something out of a horror movie,” she wrote. “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 said they were screaming for help for what seemed like an eternity, but was likely between one and three minutes.
As Elisa laid on top of their two sons, Matt managed to pin the wolf to the ground, but the animal recovered and started to drag him away.
“I cannot and don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly describe the terror,” explained Elisa.
At that point, “a guardian angel” from a nearby site came over and intervened by throwing a large rock at the wild animal, who finally let go of Matt.
Russ and the family used that opportunity to make a dash towards safety in the form of the Good Samaritan’s mini-van.
According to Elisa, the rest of the night is a blur as Matt was taken to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital where he was treated and the family had to deal with the trauma they had just experienced.
“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,” finished Elisa.
“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.”
Following the incident, Parks Canada evacuated and closed Rampart Creek Campground, located the wolf and euthanized the animal that had attacked the Rispoli family.
Officials say the wolf was in poor condition and nearing the end of its natural life span, which could explain its unusual behaviour.
The campground has since been reopened.