PARK COUNTY, Wyoming – Two college wrestlers were mauled by a grizzly bear while hiking in Wyoming over the weekend.
Brady Lowry of Cedar City, Utah, and Kendell Cummings of Evanston, Wyoming, were hunting for shed antlers in the Shoshone National Forest south of Cody on Saturday when they were attacked.
The Grizzlies went for Lowry first, according to a report from the Cowboy State Daily. Cummings ran in and tried to pull the bear away from Lowry, which resulted in the bear attacking him as well.
Both young men are on the Northwest College wrestling team. His teammates August Harrison and Orin Jackson were also outside with them but were not there at the time of the attack, according to a college spokesman.
A statement from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said a pair of hikers encountered the bear “at close range in heavy cover,” and it appeared to be a “sudden, surprising encounter.”
They were able to call an ambulance from the area near the scene of the attack and reached the trail with the help of a local resident, a hunter and others in their group. There, they met with search and rescue personnel, and one of the injured men was airlifted to an area hospital, while the other was transported by ambulance.
Both Lowry and Cummings are expected to make full recoveries, according to a message to the student body from Northwest College President Lisa Watson, who also noted that they had bear spray but were unable to use it due to a “sudden encounter.”
“I am so grateful to those who helped these brave young men after this terrifying ordeal and that no life was lost,” Watson wrote. “It took quick thinking and a lot of courage to end this without tragedy.”
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said it has received reports indicating as many as 6-10 bears are roaming throughout the area where the attack occurred. They said they will “continue to monitor bear activity in the area and work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.”