SOUTH FORK, Wyoming (KTVX) – A couple of students are recovering from serious injuries after surviving a grizzly bear attack over the weekend.
The two men, Brady Lowry of Cedar City, Utah, and Kendell Cummings of Evanston, Wyoming, are sophomores at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. They were antler hunting with two of their teammates in the Shoshone National Forest on Saturday when the attack happened.
Brian Erickson, the college’s athletic director, said Cowboy State Daily that the group got separated as they walked down the mountain. Soon after, the grizzly suddenly jumped out and began attacking Lowry.
I’m talking to Utah newsLowry said the bear knocked him off a cliff into a ravine.
Cummings then tried to distract the bear and save his friend. Lowry said he saw Cummings grab the bear by its hair and pull it away.
Then the grizzly turned and started after Cummings. Speaking to Cowboy State Daily, Cummings explained that the bear briefly attacked him before leaving him on the ground. When he got up to look for Lowry, he was attacked again.
Lowry explained that he was able to escape, find their teammates and call for help. Then they managed to find Cummings, who was badly injured by the bear.
Lowry and Cummings had bear spray but were unable to use it before the bear attack.
According to Wyoming Game & Fish Departmenta hunter and a local resident were able to help the group reach the trailhead and emergency personnel.
Cummings was airlifted to a hospital in Billings, while Lowry was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. He was later flown to Billings.
Erickson told Cowboy State Daily that while the injuries suffered by the two college athletes are “very serious in nature,” both are expected to survive. The couple underwent multiple surgeries after suffering numerous lacerations and broken bones.
The Northwest College Foundation launched a fundraising to cover Cummings and Lowry’s medical expenses.
Wyoming authorities say the attack remains under investigation, but based on initial information, “it appears to be a sudden, unexpected grizzly encounter.” In recent weeks, Game and Fish officials say there has been “an abundance of bear activity” in the area.