Woman criminally charged for taking pictures of grizzly bear
Steven Hall, DCNF
A woman from Illinois faces criminal charges after she was reportedly taped on video approaching a grizzly bear while taking photos in the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the Billings Gazette reported.
Samantha Dehring is facing charges of feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife and violating closures and use limits, according to the Billings Gazette. She hasn’t entered a plea, and her initial court appearance is scheduled to be on Aug. 26.
Dehring was with a small group of tourists on May 15 who spotted a female bear and her two cubs in the Roaring Mountain area, according to the Billings Gazette. As the bears came closer to the group, the tourists returned to their vehicles but Dehring stayed.
She did leave till the bear charged her, according to the Billings Gazette.
Park officials posted a photo of the woman asking for tips to identify her since regulations require visitors to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from other animals, according to the Billings Gazette. After receiving a tip, investigators got a warrant to search the suspect’s social media posts.
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“This incident is still under investigation, and we do not have anything to release currently,” the office of the superintendent at the Yellowstone National Park told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Yellowstone National Park averages about one bear attack per year, according to the National Park’s rules. A YouTube video surfaced in June of a bear charging at a Yellowstone National Park ranger controlling tourist traffic.
A bison attacked a 72-year-old California woman at the park after she approached it for a photo in June.