Montana Man Mauled by Grizzly Bear Ready to Return Home after Heroic Recovery
Salt Lake City, UT – In a remarkable display of resilience, Rudy Noorlander, a Montana man who had the front of his lower jaw ripped off by a grizzly bear, is finally ready to return home to his loved ones after spending five weeks in a Utah hospital. The announcement came during an emotional press conference held at the University of Utah hospital, where Noorlander and his family shared their journey of strength and determination.
Answering most questions through writing on a whiteboard, Noorlander expressed his eagerness to resume a normal life. He longs to enjoy a root beer, reunite with his beloved Yorkshire terrier named Sully, embrace the great outdoors, and potentially attend the upcoming rivalry football game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats.
During the press conference, Noorlander’s daughter, Katelynn Noorlander Davis, spoke on behalf of her father, revealing that he has developed a newfound distaste for the University of Montana, alluding to their mascot. Noorlander, albeit briefly, mentioned that speaking still causes him some discomfort. His surgeon, Dr. Hilary McCrary, stated that speech therapy would be required for his full recovery.
Noorlander, who aspires to share his gripping story in a book, declined to answer questions regarding the bear attack, as he desires to personally recount the harrowing incident. Furthermore, Noorlander expressed his wish to see actor Cole Hauser, known for his role in the television series “Yellowstone,” portray his character in the film adaptation of his story.
Throughout the press conference, Noorlander’s adult daughters, Ashley Noorlander and Davis, stood by his side, narrating the ups and downs of the past five weeks. In a poignant moment, Davis read a heartfelt statement written by her father, expressing gratitude for the overwhelming support, love, prayers, and kindness he has received from both friends and strangers.
“I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people,” Davis recited from Noorlander’s statement. “I also want to say that the first pitcher of root beer is going to taste amazing, and that soon I will be free and not hooked on anything.”
The Noorlander family looks forward to their father’s anticipated return home, scheduled for Monday. Noorlander’s incredible journey began on September 8 when he was attacked by a grizzly bear while assisting two individuals in search of a wounded deer. The ferocious bear closed in on him before he could even deploy bear repellent or fire his gun, which reportedly misfired.
The incident took place south of Big Sky, a popular tourist area located approximately 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. Noorlander, who operates an ATV and snowmobile rental business in the area, had to be airlifted out of the region via helicopter, a process that took several hours. He was initially admitted to a hospital in Bozeman, where a tracheotomy was performed to establish an airway through his windpipe. He was subsequently transported to the University of Utah hospital for further treatment.
On September 28, Noorlander underwent an extensive 10-hour operation led by Dr. McCrary to reconstruct his jaw and lower lip. The procedure involved utilizing a section of bone from his lower leg, as well as transplanted skin. Additionally, dental implants were successfully integrated during the surgery.
Dr. McCrary commended Noorlander’s unwavering determination to recover, expressing surprise during their initial meeting following the bear attack. The doctor’s admiration for Noorlander’s resilience is shared by all who have witnessed his extraordinary fight for survival.
As Noorlander prepares to return home, he serves as an inspiration to others facing adversity, symbolizing the power of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable challenges.