SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was attacked by a grizzly bear last month is expected to return home from Utah to Montana after five weeks.
Rudy Noorlander was injured by a grizzly bear on Sept. 8, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Noorlander is the owner and operator of Alpine Adventures in Big Sky, Montana.
At the time of the attack, he was helping customers track deer when he came across a small grizzly bear, a GoFundMe set up by his daughter said, according to the newspaper.
Noorlander spent five weeks in the hospital after the attack, KUTV reported. He was unable to talk or eat. He was brought to the University of Utah Hospital where he underwent jaw reconstruction surgery.
The procedure was 10 hours long and it took place on Sept. 28. It used a part of his lower leg bone and transplanted skin, his doctor, Dr. Hilary McCary said in a news conference Friday, according to The Associated Press. He also got dental implants during the procedure.
McCary said that Noorlander will need some speech therapy as speaking hurts still a bit, according to the AP.
Noorlander did not talk much at the news conference but said he wants to tell his own story and write a book, the AP reported. He also would like “Yellowstone” actor Cole Hauser to play him in a movie.
“I truly feel blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people,” his daughter Katelynn Noorlander Davis said, reading her father’s statement, according to the AP. “I also want to say that the first root beer float is going to taste so amazing and soon I’m going to be a free-range chicken and won’t be hooked up to anything.”
His daughter said he had bear spray and a gun on him when he was attacked but “he just didn’t have time,” she said, according to KUTV.
Noorlander’s family is hoping that he will return from Salt Lake City to Montana on Monday, the AP reported.
He is also no stranger to bear sightings. According to KUTV, his first one came was when he was just 10 years old.
“Most of the important things have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying. Even when there seems to be no hope, keep on fighting,” Noorlander said, according to the news outlet.