July 28, 2013

Mainer mauled by polar bear continues to improve

Matthew Dyer of Turner was attacked in his tent while he was camping in a Canadian national park.

By Beth Quimby bquimby@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Turner man mauled by a polar bear in a Canadian national park was listed in critical but stable condition at a Montreal hospital on Sunday night.

click image to enlarge

This photo shows a view of the Nachvak Fjord in the Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador, Canada. Maine resident Matthew Dyer was camping in this national park, near the Nachvak Fjord, when he was mauled by a polar bear Wednesday, July 26, 2013.

Photo courtesy of National Parks of Canada

click image to enlarge

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But Cinzia Colella, a spokeswoman for Montreal General Hospital, also said that Matthew Dyer was "showing signs of progress."

Dyer's wife, Jeanne Wells, issued a brief statement Sunday night regarding her husband's recovery.

"I think we should all wait until Matthew is able to speak about his own firsthand experience, and I am sure he will," Wells said in a statement. "Trust me, there will be bear stories. For now,I'd like everyone to know that he is in good hands. His injuries are serious, but he's very stable, he's very strong and in great health, and I have no doubt that he will make a full recovery. It's going to take time."

Dyer, who is a lawyer for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Lewiston, is being treated for injuries in the intensive care unit at the hospital, where he was taken by helicopter after being attacked by a polar bear early Wednesday at Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador.

Wells on Saturday thanked people for their concern for her husband.

"My husband is in critical but stable condition, he is a strong man and he is making improvements every day," Wells said in a  statement released by the hospital. "My husband has received incredible care in Canada and at the Montreal General Hospital; I believe that's why he is still alive,"

The bear broke through an electrified fence about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at the remote park, where polar bears are common.

The bear attacked Dyer in his tent. Dyer's fellow campers drove the bear off with signal flares.

Dyer underwent emergency surgery for his injuries.

– Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

bquimby@pressherald.com

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