03/18/2013 12:22 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Attacked by wolf, Manitoba woman drives to hospital

A Manitoba woman credits a childhood lesson for saving her life when she was attacked and bitten by a wolf at the side of a highway.

Dawn Hepp was driving along Highway 6 near Grand Rapids on March 8 when she pulled over to help another driver.

When she walked over to the car, a wolf lunged at her.

“His face and his jaws were around my neck … so it was his fur I can feel on my face," she said.

"I could just hear my dad saying, 'stay calm Dawn, stay calm Dawn.' So what I did was I just stayed calm, I didn't yell, I didn't scream.

"He dug a little deeper with that tooth and by the larynx, whether he couldn't get a good enough grip or what, he let go."

At that moment, Hepp jumped into her car and pulled up next to the people in the other vehicle she had stopped to help.

"I rolled down my window and said, 'You guys are OK? I've gotta go. I've gotta get to the nearest hospital,'" she said.

"I just said, 'I gotta get going', and they said, 'Yeah, we were worried about you.'"

Remaining calm, Hepp drove herself to the hospital in Ashern and was treated for puncture wounds and rabies.

Ken Rebizant is with Manitoba Conservation and said the animal could have been hungry or sick.

"It is very rare. I have been with wildlife branch for 25 years, and this is the first case that I have heard of of this kind in Manitoba," said Rebizant.

Grand Rapids is located about 415 kilometres north of Winnipeg.