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Morris County Dad Shields Family From Savage Wolf Ripping Through Tent While Camping

The Rispoli family on their trip to Canada.
The Rispoli family on their trip to Canada. Photo Credit: Elisa Rispoli

A Morris County family's camping trip in Canada took a turn for the worst when a wolf ripped its way into their tent.

A stranger who heard their cries, however, came running and is being hailed a guardian angel by the family's matriarch.

"This is a hard thing to post, since I haven’t fully comprehended that it happened yet," Elisa Rispoli wrote Aug. 9 in a Facebook post with more than 32,000 shares.

"Last night, while sleeping in our tent in Banff National Park, we were attacked by a wolf."

"It was like something out of a horror movie."

The Rispoli family, who online records show are from the Califon section of Washington Township, were laying in their tent in Canada’s Banff National Park when the wolf began tearing through the tent.

The family's patriarch, Matthew, instinctively shielded his wife and kids from the crazed animal.

"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," Elisa wrote.

"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)."

Elisa laid across her kids as Matthew pinned the animal to the ground and held its jaw open with his hands.

"...the Wolf started to drag Matt away, while 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."

Russ Fee, a fellow camper in the site next to the Rispolis, heard their cries and came running with a lantern.

Fee kicked the wolf, Elisa said, who finally let go of Matthew.

The two men threw rocks at the animal while everyone ran to Russ' minivan for safety.

"The rest of the night is a blur of EMTs, good Samaritans, waiting for treatment, no phone service and crying," Elisa said. "But here we are in Banff hospital, where Matt’s puncture wounds, and lacerations on his hands and arms have been treated and he's ok."

The family was traumatized, but thankful to be okay in a situation that Elisa said could have been much worse. They took solace in knowing the campground was evacuated the following day -- and the wolf killed.

"I love you Matthew- thank you for being our hero, a complete f**king badass and for fighting with everything in you."

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