With a wolf’s jaws clamped around her neck, Dawn Hepp survived by just keeping calm
Stay calm was what Dawn Hepp, a medical secretary in Thompson, Manitoba, kept telling herself to do on March 8 when a large and presumably hungry timber wolf pounced, locking its jaws around her neck on a lonely stretch of highway near Grand Rapids, about 400 km north of Winnipeg.
“A car had passed me on the road and a little further on they were stopped,” Ms. Hepp tells me from her mother’s home in Ashern, Man. “You are in the middle of nowhere. I thought maybe they were having car trouble. I pulled over and off in the distance I could see a wolf. He was maybe a mile away, and this being wolf country, bear country and coyote country, I thought nothing of it.
“I talked to the people. And they were fine. And I like to talk. It is my nature, and so I kept talking and as I turned back to my truck all of a sudden this wolf jumped me, and all I could feel was fur on my face and jaws around my neck. There was no growling. He was just suddenly there, wrapped around my neck. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t yell. So I put my arms by my sides and relaxed.” (Photo: Courtesy Dawn Hepp)