Maine lawyer recovering from polar bear mauling

AP News
Posted: Jul 29, 2013 5:43 PM

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who was dragged from his tent and attacked by a polar bear in Canada has a broken jaw and neck injuries but continues to improve in a Montreal hospital, his wife said.

Matthew Dyer was attacked by a bear that crossed an electric fence designed to protect members of his group in Torngat Mountains National Park at the northern tip of Labrador. He was mauled by the bear before members of his group drove it away by firing flares.

A helicopter airlifted Dyer to a trauma center before he was transferred to Montreal General Hospital, his wife said.

"My husband has received incredible care in Canada and at the Montreal General Hospital; I believe that's why he is still alive," Jeanne Wells said in a statement.

Wells told the Sun Journal newspaper ( that Dyer, of Turner, has retained his sense of humor even though he remains immobilized and cannot speak, but she didn't elaborate.

Dyer's neck remains immobilized to keep the fractures stable, and a breathing tube is in place to ensure that swelling doesn't interfere with breathing, she said.

Dyer, a lawyer with Pine Tree Legal Services, was attacked Wednesday. As of Sunday, he remained in critical but stable condition. The hospital had no updates Monday.

A Parks Canada spokesman said the group was advised to hire an armed polar bear guard but decided against it. Officials said they were investigating whether the portable electrified fence was working properly.