Dehring

The woman in the video, Samantha Dehring, was identified via Facebook. 

An Illinois woman will serve four days in jail after pleading guilty to willfully remaining, approaching, and photographing dangerous wildlife within 100 yards.

Samantha Dehring, 25, was bluff-charged by a grizzly while filming it in close proximity at Yellowstone National Park in May. A video of the incident went viral around that time as Park officials sought clues to identify the woman involved.

The video showed an unidentified woman approaching a female grizzly bear and her two yearling cubs at the north end of the Roaring Mountain parking lot while filming them on her cellphone. The female grizzly charged the woman, who eventually turned and quickly walked away from the bears. It was determined Dehring was 15 feet away from the bear at the time of the charge.

Numerous tips were received, and it didn’t take long for investigators to find proof on social media of her family implicating her to the crime.

Dehring also received one year unsupervised probation, $2,000 in fines and is banned from Yellowstone for one year. Charges were dismissed against her for feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife.

“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are, indeed, wild. The park is not a zoo where animals can be viewed within the safety of a fenced enclosure. They roam freely in their natural habitat and when threatened will react accordingly,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “Approaching a sow grizzly with cubs is absolutely foolish. Here, pure luck is why Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist.”

The ultimate punishment was much lower than the one year in jail and $10,000 in fines she could have received. Park rules state visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves whenever possible, and 25 yards from everything else.

(4) comments

Laura Brown

I agree a hefty fine is preferable to jail time. Why should county, state, or fed $$ go towards housing & feeding people who so blatantly thumb their nose at law and are so IGNORANT to post their crimes on YouTube??? THAT part should get her another fine - and forced education, at her OWN expense!

Jim Guelde

It appears she might be smuggling a couple of bear cubs inside that hoodie,

Keith Dahlem

Well its a start, knot heads like this woman are born every day. Next go after road rage speeders, jail time would be a good place for them, 45 mph is the maximum speed on Yellowstone roads.

Stephen Doiron

Too authoritarian, but that's the way we seem to be leaning these days.

The woman is wrong, no doubt. Violated a RULE no doubt. Should be held responsible for her conduct, no doubt.

JAIL ! ?

I wouldn't quibble with a $5,000 fine... leave the animals alone woman !

But Jail is far too destructive to the community for such a wrong-headed behavior.

We need put someone in DC to calm these authoritarians down.

(Edited by staff.)

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