Bear country can be a frightening place to be.
It just so happens that the most beautiful places in the United States also seem to house some of the most dangerous animals.
And while bear encounters, especially from a distance, generally occur without incident, if a bear does decide to attack, there’s not much that you can do if you’re not properly prepared.
I can’t imagine coming face to face with a bear, just hoping and praying that you can make it out on the other end alive.
For these two Wyoming college wrestlers, their encounter with a grizz was less than ideal.
Four college wrestlers from Northwest College were spending their Saturday at the Shoshone National Forest, when sophomores Kendell Cummings and Brady Lowry decided to part ways from the group to find sheds towards the end of the day.
Lowry told the station:
“I saw bear crap all over, and I looked at Kenny (Cummings) and said, ‘There is a grizzly bear here.’
And right after I said that, the bear came out of the willows. It was thick. It came at me and charged me and tackled me off this cliff into this gulley and was going at me for a little bit.”
The grizzly definitely left its mark, leaving Lowry with a broken arm, shaking him around.
“I didn’t know what to do. I curled up in a ball and it got me a few more times.”
Cummings attempted to get the bear’s attention so it would leave Lowry, and eventually had to kick the bear and pull its hair which resulted in the bear pouncing on him.
“It tackled me, chewed me up a bit, and then when it was done, it wandered off, and I started calling out for Brady to make sure he was alright.”
Although they thought they had gotten the worst of it, the bear proceeded to come back for more.
“The bear circled back around, and it got me again, chewed on me, and that’s when it got my head and cheek. And then it went away again for whatever reason.”
Once the other two wrestlers met up with their injured friends, August Harrison and Orrin Jackson took turns carrying Cummings back to safety.
“He was just drenched in blood coming down the hill everywhere.”
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department shared in a statement that another hunter was there helping carry Cummings to the trailhead, where they met first responders.
Cummings and Lowry, who were released from the hospital yesterday, won’t be able to wrestle for awhile, while Harrison and Jackson are expected to get back into action right away.
Northwest’s wrestling coach Jim Zeigler said that Cummings could be released from the hospital later this week, “but with drainage tubes.”
“There’s real serious puncture holes and wounds. He took a lot of staples to his head and also (there’s) some cosmetic surgery for his cheek.”
Tough kids… thankfully, they’re expected to make a full recovery.