A man rushed to save a family in a neighbouring campsite after he heard their desperate pleas for help.
Speaking to Calgary Eyeopener, Russ Fee said every time he went camping, the last thought that ran through his mind before he drifted off to sleep was his kids might “scurry out of the tent”.
When woken in the middle of the night to screaming, Mr Fee initially thought thought the screams were from parents whose child had gone missing during the night in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
He said the screams sounded “panicky”.
Then he heard a man and a woman yell: “Help!”
Mr Fee, from Calgary in Canada, struggled to unzip his own tent and rushed to the neighbouring tent with a lantern to find a wolf trying to drag something from the tent, which at that point was completely destroyed.
He said he didn’t realise at the time, but the wolf had grabbed on to a man’s arm and was trying to pull him from the tent.
Mr Fee said he had never seen a wolf in the wild before, but due to the size of it, he knew exactly what it was.
“It was just so much larger than any dog I had ever seen,” he told the Calgary Eyeopener.
Mr Fee said he “had a good run going” at the time as he jogged from his own tent.
“I just kind of kept running at it,” he said.
“I kicked it in the back hip area. I felt like I was kicking in a door.
“I don’t think I hurt it very much, it was pretty large, but it startled it enough to let Matt go.”
Matt is the father of two young boys. He, wife Elisa Rispoli and the kids were up from New Jersey on a camping trip.
Ms Rispoli explained in her own words what happened to the family in a Facebook post.
“It was like something out of a horror movie,” she said.
“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.”
Ms Rispoli said it felt like the family was screaming for help for what felt like an eternity when in reality, it was only a couple of minutes.
“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, while I was pulling on his legs trying to get him back.”
Ms Rispoli described Mr Fee has a “guardian angel”.
After Matt was free from the wolf’s jaws, he got up, and he and Mr Fee started screaming at it.
Mr Fee explained on the radio the entire campground was lined by rocks the size of cabbages.
He and Matt picked up some rocks and started “lobbing them”.
The group then retreated to Mr Fee’s campsite.
According to Ms Rispoli the rest of the night was a “blur of EMTs, good Samaritans, waiting for treatment, no phone service and crying”.
Ms Rispoli said the family was “traumatised but ok”. She said Matt had suffered lacerations and puncture wounds, but he was being treated at Banff hospital.
Wolf attacks are generally rare and according to the government of Alberta website, wolves are generally wary of humans and will keep themselves hidden.
According to Global News, a wolf confirmed to be the one involved in the incident was found about a kilometre away from the campsite and was killed.
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