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A grizzly bear mauled two college wrestlers hunting in Wyoming

The Northwest College wrestlers were hunting just south of Cody when a grizzly bear suddenly attacked them Saturday afternoon.
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Two college wrestlers were mauled by a grizzly bear while they were out hunting near Cody, Wyoming, the state Game and Fish Department said.

Kendell Cummings and Brady Lowry, who are sophomores at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, were antler hunting west of the Bobcat Houlihan Trail on Saturday afternoon when they had a "sudden, surprise encounter with a grizzly bear" at close range, the wildlife department said in a statement Monday.

They were with two other wrestlers, but they became separated before the attack, college spokesperson Timothy Carpenter said.

Brady Lowry and Kendell Cummings at the hospital.
Brady Lowry and Kendell Cummings.via KSL 5 TV

Cummings and Lowry were able to call 911 after the attack and, with assistance from their teammates, get to the trailhead, where they met Park County Search and Rescue officials. One of the men was airlifted for medical attention, and the other was taken by an ambulance.

They were sent to hospitals in Billings, Montana, and "have undergone surgeries," according to a fundraiser the Northwest College Foundation created to assist them with medical expenses.

Cummings and Lowry are expected to make full recoveries, Carpenter said. The school did not release specifics about their injuries.

Northwest College President Lisa Watson confirmed the incident and applauded the wrestlers' bravery in an email to students and staff members Sunday.

"Due to the suddenness of the encounter, they were not able to deploy their bear spray," she said in the email. "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."

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said six to 10 bears could be in the area where the wrestlers were attacked, citing reports from landowners and hunters.

"In the last few weeks, there has been an abundance of bear activity at low elevations throughout the South Fork and North Fork of the Shoshone River, Clarks Fork River and Greybull River drainages," it said.

It said it will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and investigate Saturday's attack.