The severed head of a wolf that may have died more than 30,000 years ago has been unearthed in Siberia.
Part of Canada’s Banff National Park reopened Tuesday after a man saved a family of four during a wolf attack last week, authorities said.
Parks Canada said DNA testing confirmed that a wolf killed by park officials nearby was the same animal that terrorized the family in the park early Friday.
In the harrowing incident, the family said a wolf entered their tent as they were asleep and attacked them during a visit to Banff from New Jersey.
“It was like something out of a horror movie,” Elisa Rispoli wrote in a Facebook post. She described how her husband, Matt, shielded her and her sons as the wolf “ripped apart our tent and his arms and hands.”
Miraculously, a good Samaritan in a nearby campsite awoke to the family’s cries for help.
Russ Fee told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that he rushed toward the tent and saw the wolf trying to drag something away.
“It was just so much larger than any dog I’ve ever seen,” he said Tuesday.
Rispoli said the wolf had begun dragging her husband from the tent when she pulled back on his legs. “I cannot and don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly describe the terror,” she said in her Facebook post.
Fee said he decided to kick the wolf hips to get it off. The animal let go of Rispoli’s husband but didn’t run away, he said.
“I felt like I had kind of punched someone that was way out of my weight class,” he told the Canadian broadcaster. “I immediately regretted kicking it.”
The two men began yelling at the wolf and threw rocks at it to fend it off. Fee led the family to his campsite and eventually to his car for safety, the CBC reported.
Rispoli called Fee “a guardian angel” and said his efforts likely saved her husband’s life. Her husband suffered lacerations to his hands and arms but was recovering at a local hospital, she said.
“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,” she wrote.
Jon Stuart-Smith, a wildlife management specialist with Parks Canada, told the Star Calgary the animal was severely underweight, had worn teeth and was in poor health, which likely contributed to it attacking the family.
“An individual wolf that’s on its own has a much lower chance of being able to catch prey, which means it’s going to have less ability to feed itself,” the wildlife expert told the newspaper.
“Without that ability, it’s going to be looking for other food sources. An incident like this where it’s taking the opportunity to possibly consider humans as food is what we’re thinking is the reason for the attack.”
The animal did not test positive for rabies, he added.
Parks Canada reopened the Rampart Creek Campground after a closure Friday following the attack. The park service said killing the animal was necessary for public safety.
“Public safety remains our top priority. Parks Canada is confident the campground is safe to open,” Parks Canada wrote on Facebook.
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