The Maine lawyer who was attacked by a polar bear while camping in Canada is scheduled to have jaw surgery, possibly Friday or Saturday, and then expects to return home to Maine shortly thereafter.

Matthew Dyer, who works for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Lewiston, specializing in tenants’ rights, has been recuperating at Montreal General Hospital after he was attacked by the polar bear on July 24. His wife, Jeanne Wells, said in an email that his condition has improved but he still has difficulty speaking.

Dyer, who lives in Turner, was camping with a Sierra Club outing in the Torngat Mountains National Park in northern Labrador when the bear apparently broke through an electrified fence designed to keep bears out. Polar bears are common at this time of year in the remote park; this one attacked and bit Dyer, who was asleep in his tent, but released him and fled after others in Dyer’s camping party fired flares to scare it off.

A doctor in the group treated Dyer until a rescue helicopter arrived and evacuated Dyer from the park.

Wells said she and Dyer have received many expressions of support from friends. Dyer asked that in lieu of sending flowers to the hospital, well-wishers make a donation to Pine Tree Legal Assistance or to The Center for Women’s Wisdom in Lewiston, where Dyer serves on the board of directors.

Wells also asked that any cards or letters be sent to the Pine Tree Legal Assistance office in Lewiston, P.O. Box 398, Lewiston, ME 04243.


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