Grizzly Bear Vs. College Students

Sadie Dodson, Staff Reporter

On Oct. 15, 2022 Kendell Cummings and Brady Lowry, wrestlers from Northwest College, were just wrapping up a hunt in Powel, Wyoming. Assuming nothing bad was going to happen to them that day, they finished their hunt, collected their antlers and started back to their cars. Little did they know, a few moments later, they would be fighting for every breath just to make it out of the Shoshone Forest alive.

Cummings heard the attack before he even saw what was happening. The first thing he heard was a loud crash. Cummings’ heart dropped as he turned to see a bear on top of his teammate. Not knowing what to do, Cummings shouted at the bear, Over and over, he tried to scare it. Nothing.

The bear wouldn’t stop, so instead he tried throwing rocks in the bear’s direction. But nothing was working, the bear was relentless. None of the tactics Cummings was using were doing the trick. He had no other choice. Cummings lunged at the grizzly and grabbed him, which gave Lowry just enough time to break free. In doing so, the bear turned his focus to Cummings and charged him twice. While being attacked, the college student said, “I could hear when his teeth would hit my skull, I could feel when he’d bite down on my bones and they’d kind of crunch.”

Cummings remembered he had studied about bears and what to do if an attack was to occur. But nothing he learned dealt with grizzly bears. “In any case, there wasn’t time to think,” he said. He did what he thought was the best option, and played dead. According to the U.S National Park Services, the best thing to do in this situation is to “Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area.” Lucky for the young wrestler, he did.

Once Cummings curled up and played dead, the bear lost interest. He started walking away. As the bear walked off, he watched and remembered thinking that all he wanted to do was to get off this mountain. He was later life-flighted off of the mountain to the nearest urgent care facility. Both of these young men underwent surgery. after surgery to fixing the countless lacerations to both their faces and bodies. Luckily, Lowry got out of the fight with only a broken arm.

Both wrestlers left that mountain beat up and scared, but their friendship and bond are stronger than ever. While in the hospital recovering from this event, Lowry stated, “I don’t know what I’m going to pay him back, I don’t. I owe him everything.”  Bonded for life, these tough boys fought for not only their own lives, but for each other, and for that they are forever grateful for each other.