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 two men are athletes are from the Northwest College wrestling team in Powell and are recovering from serious injuries suffered in a grizzly bear attack Saturday outside Cody.
Brian Erickson, athletic director at Northwest College, confirmed the attack through Leo Wolfson and the Cowboy State Daily.
“We’re praying for those kids and their families and the rest of the team and their coach,” he said.
The encounter happened Saturday while the men were off a trail and searching for antlers shed by deer and elk in the forest southwest of Yellowstone National Park, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said.
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. One man was flown to the hospital by helicopter while the other was taken by ambulance.
Their conditions were not known on Monday, wildlife officials said. Game and Fish personnel were still investigating the attack.
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 will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety, Smith said. Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act.