College student from Utah injured in grizzly bear attack
Oct 17, 2022, 6:32 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 5:22 pm
BILLINGS, Mont. — A wrestler from Utah is crediting his college teammates with saving his life during a grizzly bear attack near Cody, Wyoming, on Saturday.
Brady Lowry, of Cedar City, was antler hunting with Northwest College wrestling teammates Kendell Cummings, Orin Jackson and August Harrison, who is from Vernal, when the attack happened a few miles west of the Bobcat-Houlihan trailhead. Lowry said the day was getting late and the group was headed back to their vehicle when he and Cummings split off to spend a few more minutes looking for sheds.
“I saw bear crap all over, and I looked at Kenny and said, ‘There is a grizzly bear here,” Lowry said. “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.”
Lowry said the bear got a hold of his arm first, breaking it.
“It shook me around and I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I curled up in a ball and it got me a few more times.”
Coming up at 5 on @KSL5TV: A wrestler from Utah attacked by a grizzly bear in Wyoming, he and his teammate who was also attacked spoke exclusively with me from their hospital in Montana. The young men say they’re alive today because of their teammates. #ksltv pic.twitter.com/CDGLgIbs9h
— Shara Park ✨ (@KSLSharaPark) October 17, 2022
Lowry said teammate Kendell Cummings jumped into action, standing above the bear, yelling at it and trying to get its attention. When it didn’t let up the attack, he said Cummings kicked the bear and grabbed at its hair, pulling it back. He said the bear then turned and started to chase Cummings.
“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,” Cummings said from his hospital bed in Billings, Montana.
UPDATE: Northwest College has set up a page to gather funds* to help pay the medical expenses of the injured wrestlers.
Lowry said he ran back up the hill to find his other two teammates and called 911. They then began searching for Cummings, who suffered a second attack by the bear.
“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,” Cummings said.
Bleeding and suffering serious lacerations to his head and body, Cummings pulled himself up and began looking for his teammates.
“We heard Kenny yell, and he came out of the trees where the bear was at and was covered in blood. He walked down to us,” Lowry said. “Gus (August Harrison) ran up to him, and we were probably five miles from the trailhead where we parked and about a mile to the bottom of the hill.”
Lowry said the group stayed together while waiting for Park County Search and Rescue. According to a press release from Wyoming Game and Fish Department, who also responded, a hunter in the area helped the group of wrestlers reach the trailhead, where they were met by rescue crews.
Cummings was then flown by helicopter to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana. Lowry was taken to Cody Regional in Wyoming, but was also eventually flown to St. Vincent.
“I’m just glad we have each other still; glad all four of us walk off that mountain,” Lowry said while sitting next to Cummings in his hospital room. “I don’t think anyone else lesser than a wrestling team with a bond like we have – they wouldn’t have handled it as well as we did.”
Lowry said all four wrestlers were carrying bear spray at the time of the attack, but because it all happened so fast, there was no time to reach for it.
“It happened so fast; there was no self-defense that could have been done in that situation,” he said.
In addition to Cummings trying to stop the bear, Lowry believes someone else was protecting him and his teammates.
“When I was under that bear, I covered my head and curled up in a ball, and if it wanted to kill me, it could have killed me. There was someone looking out for me and Kendell,” Lowry said.
Lowry’s father, Dallas, flew to Montana to be with his son after the attack. He said he’s forever grateful for how Kendell reacted in those critical moments during the attack.
“He saved my son’s life,” Dallas said, pointing to Cummings.
Dallas said he’s also grateful for the support he’s seen from his son’s team at Northwest College.
“When I showed up here, that whole wrestling team was here; sat with these guys for two days solid,” Dallas said. “That young man over there – Kendell is a hero. Any normal person would have turned and ran, but these bonds that they build in college athletics lasts forever.”
“Me and Kenny would both be dead if it wasn’t all four of us — if it wasn’t for Kenny pulling the hair, if it wasn’t for him (Gus) running up and scaring the bear away and not coming back for more. It was a team effort. We love each other. We’re going to be best friends for the rest of our lives because of this,” Brady said.
A fundraiser for medical expenses for the pair can be found on their website.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.