After suffering a near fatal polar bear attack, a Maine lawyer returns to the arctic.
When Matt Dyer ventured into the Canadian arctic on a Sierra club trekking trip, he had no idea what he was getting into.
Dyer responded to a Sierra club magazine add that read:
If you dream of experiencing a place that is both pristine and magical, a land of spirits and polar bears rarely seen by humans, this is the trip you have been waiting for.
Days into the trip, Dyer was the victim of a polar bear attack.
The polar bear attacked in the night after crossing the group’s electric bear fence. Dyer suffered major injuries including a broken jaw, a collapsed lung, cracked vertebrae in his neck, a broken hand, and a paralyzed vocal cord.
The bear bit Dyer and dragged him from his tent. Dyer remembers thinking, as the bear’s jaws closed around his head, “This is it—you’re going to die now.”
He didn’t die and a year after the polar bear attack, Matt Dyer returned to the Arctic.
Watch the clip to hear his story and the reason for his return trip.
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Matt’s brush with death is just one example of the polar bear and human conflicts that are becoming more and more common. The ice that polar bears have inhabited for years is melting and causing more bears to move inland. This increased exposure to humans has resulted in a 500% increase in polar bear attacks since the 1960s.
Polar bear attacks can be avoided by remaining alert and steering clear of the bears, not camping in major bear travel corridors, and not cooking or leaving trash near camp. Bear spray, flare guns, and licensed bear guards carrying firearms can ward off bears that come to close.
Anyone venturing into polar bear habitat should understand their behavior to reduce the risk of polar bear attacks.