Equilibrium & Sustainability

Woman charged after she approached grizzly bear in Yellowstone with her phone

An Illinois woman on Tuesday was charged with disturbing wildlife after a video was posted online of her approaching a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park with her phone.

According to court documents, Samantha Dehring faces one count of violating a federal law that prohibits the “feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentional disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding or other activities” and one count of “violating closures and use limits.”

In May, video was posted online showing Dehring — who was, at the time, still unidentified — approaching a grizzly bear and its cubs to take a photo. The bear charged at her, leading Dehring to calmly walk away. After the video was posted online, park rangers said that they were searching for her.

At the time, it was unclear what penalties Dehring would face if found.

Dehring has been ordered to appear in court on Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. An attorney for Dehring was not listed in court documents.

According to witnesses present at the incident, other tourists at the park got into their cars when the bears got closer, but Dehring approached the animals despite warnings.

The Billings Gazette reported that investigators were able to track Dehring down through social media, where she had posted pictures of the bears on Facebook, captioning the picture, “absolutely floored by the beauty of this place.”

According to investigators the bear was only 15 feet away from Dehring.

Tags Grizzly bear Yellowstone National Park
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