Think you're tough? These college wrestlers grappled with a grizzly bear, and walked six miles to safety
There's a good chance you've never heard of Northwest College in Cody, Wyoming, much less spared a single thought about their wrestling team. That ignorance is about to end, because I promise you you're not going to forget this story anytime soon. Last weekend, while out looking for elk antlers in the Shoshone National Forest—a badass hobby, if we've ever heard one—two wrestlers from the college were attacked by a grizzly bear.
On "Good Morning America" Wednesday morning, the wrestlers related their story, and as you might imagine, it's pretty harrowing. Brady Lowry barely had time to shout the word "bear" when the animal charged him from out of the trees, and the attack was so sudden and swift that he suffered a broken arm and puncture wounds in the short time after the bear pounced on him. After the broken arm, Lowry curled into a ball, but the bear began biting him all over, from his shoulder to his back. If he had been alone, Lowry's odds of survival would have been slim, but his teammate Kendell Cummings was there to launch an attack on the bear that was frankly heroic under the circumstances. Cummings punched it, kicked it, and eventually resorted to pulling on its fur, which finally succeeded in getting the bear to turn its attention to the new attacker and save Lowry.
The bear knocked Cummings to the ground, pushed him against a tree, and began the attack in earnest while Cummings tried to defend his neck by placing his arm in the bear's mouth. The bear mauled his arms and head, and at some point, thankfully, ceased the attack. When the bear finally left, Cummings called out to his friends, at which point—somehow, this is the worst part—the bear came back, and resumed the attack on Cummings.
Finally, it ended, at which point they tracked down another teammate, who coordinated an air lift to the hospital. To get him to the chopper, his teammates had to carry his bloody body down the mountain, at one point handing him across a barbed wire fence, for six miles.
They made it, and it took 60 staples to patch up Cummings' head, while Lowry had a fractured left arm and puncture wounds. The pictures of the two in the aftermath are heartbreaking, and the quotes are worse:
"I didn't want to lose my friend. It was bad," Cummings told the Deseret News. "There was a big ol' bear on top of him. I could have run and potentially lost a friend or get him off and save him."
And from Lowry:
"He definitely saved my life. If it wasn’t for him, if I was by myself, I would not have made it off that mountain."
There are two lessons here. First, and most obviously, grizzly bears are ****ing scary. Second, while you don't want to mess with them, it's pretty damn clear you don't want to mess with wrestlers from Northwest College, either.