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61-year-old Man Attacked by Grizzly in Montana National Forest

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A 61-year-old Navy veteran is in critical but stable condition after a grizzly bear attack in the Custer Gallatin National Forest near Big Sky, Montana.

While helping clients trace a deer they had shot on September 8, Rudy Noorlander encountered a small bear. He aimed his rifle to frighten it away, but it malfunctioned. Subsequently, a massive 10-foot grizzly attacked him. In an attempt to fend off the bear, Noorlander resorted to using his hands. The bear inflicted grave injuries, including scratches on his chest, bites on his arms and legs, and the loss of his lower jaw, which was barely attached after the attack.

The hunters with Noorlander managed to chase away the bears and summoned a helicopter for rescue. However, the immediate threat from other bears meant the first helicopter had to await support. For two hours, Noorlander endured on the forest floor, conscious and in pain. His daughter wrote “An amazing feat of strength as he did not pass out from fear, pain, or blood loss.”

Initial treatments were administered at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in Montana. Noorlander was later moved to the University of Utah Hospital for comprehensive care. As a safety measure, areas of the Custer Gallatin National Forest were closed to find the aggressive grizzly, but its current location is undetermined.

In light of these events, Katelynn Noorlander created a GoFundMe page for her father’s recovery expenses and praised his fortitude. His family hopes for a positive outcome.

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