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Originally published July 29, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Page modified July 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

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Maine lawyer recovering from polar bear mauling

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 is improving in a Montreal hospital, his wife said.

The Associated Press

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LEWISTON, Maine —

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 is improving 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. The mauling ended when members of his group drove the bear away by firing flares.

The group had been advised to hire an armed guard to protect against such attacks but decided against it, a Parks Canada spokesman said. Officials said they were investigating whether the portable electrified fence was working properly.

A helicopter took 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 of Lewiston that Dyer, of Turner, has retained his sense of humor even though he remains immobilized and cannot speak. 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.

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