A veteran survived a grizzly bear after his jaw was cut off
Big Sky, Mont. (WJW) – A man is in critical but stable condition after he was attacked by a grizzly bear outside Yellowstone National Park in Montana last week, his family confirmed.
Gallatin County Search and Rescue Sheriff Rudy Norlander, a Navy veteran who owns an outdoor adventure company, was leading a group of hunters trying to find a deer they shot on Yellow Mule Road when they encountered two bears.
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The man was attacked by one of the animals and suffered severe injuries, including a torn jaw, after being unable to shoot it.
Norlander was rescued out of the area and is recovering in a hospital in Utah after initial surgery in Montana, according to his family.
“My dad is the bravest and strongest man I know,” his daughter Caitlin Davis wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser for Norlander.
Other hunters were eventually able to scare off the animals, Davis said.
“Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind hunters that having an emergency plan along with the ability to call for help is critical in remote areas,” Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue said in a statement.
A few days before the attack, Montana wildlife officials euthanized a grizzly bear that broke through a home window and took a dog food container along with its cub.
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Because of her food-conditioned behavior and “immediate threat to public safety,” authorities chose to euthanize the 10-year-old female bear. They later determined that the same bear was involved in the fatal attack on a woman near West Yellowstone in July, as well as a 2020 incident that injured one person in Idaho. The bear viewed both incidents as defensive responses, and attempts to catch the grizzly were unsuccessful.
Her cub is now at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena and will later be moved to the zoo.
If you encounter a bear, the National Park Service recommends making yourself appear larger. You shouldn’t run, as that might make you look more like prey. If you’re attacked by a grizzly (or brown) bear, the NPS says you should play dead, lying on your stomach with your hands behind your neck and legs apart.
The agency says to stay in this position until the bear leaves the area.
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