Two College Students Mauled by Grizzly Bear in Wyoming Attack

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images)

Two students at Northwest College suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a grizzly bear during a shed hunt in Wyoming. The incident occurred on Saturday, October 15. While both young men survived, they currently are receiving medical care in a Billings hospital.

Sophomores and wrestlers Kendell Cummings, of Evanston, Wyoming, and Brady Lowry of Cedar City, Utah, were attacked while out with two other wrestling teammates.

The attack occurred near the Bobcat Houlihan trailhead on the Shoshone National Forest. The area lies southwest of Cody, Wyoming.

According to a press release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Lowry was attacked by the grizzly bear unexpectedly.

Lowry and Cummings walked down the mountain in the afternoon when the bear pounced on Lowry. Then, Cummings reportedly tried to pull the bear off his friend. The bear then began attacking Cummings.

The pair made it back to their vehicle with the help of the two uninjured wrestlers. A nearby hunter and a local resident also assisted. Then, Park County Search and Rescue and WGFD personnel arrived at the scene after the group called 911.

Cummings was life-flighted to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana. Lowry was taken to Cody Regional Hospital in an ambulance. He was then life-flighted to the hospital in Billings from there. Both have undergone multiple surgeries since the event, but are expected to survive the horrific incident.

“We’re praying for those kids and their families and the rest of the team and their coach,” Erickson says. “They’re alive and doing well, for what happened.”

Grizzly Bears Remain Active Throughout the Fall Months

Northwest College president Lisa Watson wrote in a letter that the four were carrying bear spray at the time. However, the attack occurred so suddenly that none of them could use it.

“I am so grateful for those who assisted these brave young men in the aftermath of this terrifying ordeal and that no lives were lost. It took quick thinking and no small amount of bravery for this to have ended without tragedy,” Watson wrote. “May their recovery be swift, and their spirits remain strong.”

Grizzly bears remain active well into the fall months. They are currently in the midst of hyperphagia. During this phase, they eat and drink in excess to put on weight for their winter hibernation. This can lead to an increased aggression toward humans. This is the case especially if the bears have eaten human food before.

“In the vicinity where the attack occurred, reports from landowners and hunters indicate there may be six to 10 different bears moving between agricultural fields and low elevation slopes,” WGFD Cody Region wildlife supervisor Dan Smith says. “Game and Fish will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.”