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Grizzly bear attacks two men who surprised it in Wyoming national forest: "It was horrific"

Grizzly bear mauls 2 college wrestlers in Wyoming
Grizzly bear mauls 2 college wrestlers in Wyoming 01:52

Cody, Wyoming — - A grizzly bear attacked and injured two men who apparently surprised the bruin while they were recreating in the Shoshone National Forest in northwestern Wyoming, state wildlife officials said Monday.

The encounter happened Saturday while the men were off a trail and searching for antlers shed by deer and elk in the forest southeast of Yellowstone National Park, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said.

Both are sophomores and members of the Northwest College wrestling team in Powell, Wyoming, reports CBS Billings, Montana affiliate KTVQ-TV. They were with two other teammates but were separated from them when the attack happened, the station says.

According to KTVQ, the injured men are Kendell Cummings, from Evanston, Wyoming and Brady Lowry, from Utah.

The station says the grizzly attacked Lowry first. Cummings then jumped onto the bear's back to try to free Lowry but that led the bear to start attacking Cummings.

"It was horrific. The boys exhibited courage that people can't even imagine," KTVQ quoted head wrestling coach Jim Zeigler as saying Monday. "They do love each other and we communicate constantly through group text and one of the things I always say to them is, you know, thank you for loving each other, and it paid [off]. "

The men were able to call 911 from near the scene and other recreationists in the area were able to get them to the trailhead, where they met search and rescue teams. Cummings was flown to the hospital by helicopter while Lowry was taken by ambulance, KTVQ reports.

State officials declined to release information about their conditions on Monday.

Reports from hunters and landowners in the area where the attack occurred indicate there may be six to 10 bears moving between agricultural fields and low elevation slopes, Dan Smith, a regional wildlife supervisor, said in a statement.

The agency doesn't plan to take any management action against the grizzly bear, such as relocating it or euthanizing it, Smith said Monday, because the attack was due to the bear being surprised and because wildlife managers would not be able to identify which of the bears in the area was involved.

Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Antlers can be sold for taxidermy and craft purposes and for dog chews.  

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