Samantha Dehring Carol Stream, Illinois woman charged for getting illegaly close to grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park.
Social media sleuths helped park rangers track down Samantha Dehring, of Carol Stream who was caught on video on May 15 as she approached a mother grizzly bear and two cubs in the Roaring Mountain area of the park.
Witnesses told investigators that Dehring was with a group of tourists who spotted the bear and two cubs. Witnesses said, when they saw the bears coming closer, they returned to their vehicles and warned Dehring to get back, but she did not until after the mother grizzly charged her.
Fortunately for Dehring, the Illinois woman escaped with her life intact while encroaching the animal’s territory.
According to charges filed in federal court in Wyoming, she was about 15 feet away from the bear. Park regulations require visitors to stay at least 300 feet away.
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‘absolutely floored by the beauty of this place,’
Investigators got a warrant to search Dehring’s social media posts after receiving a tip from someone who had seen a posting of the video with her name tagged.
The woman did not make it difficult for law enforcement to find her: She reportedly posted numerous photos of the bears to her Facebook account, captioning one image of the creatures ‘absolutely floored by the beauty of this place,’ the Billings Gazette reported.
Dehring is charged with feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife and violating closures and use limits. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Mammoth, Wyoming, on August 26. She has not yet entered a plea.
Incidents involving grizzlies according to park rangers are all too real.
About two weeks after the May 15 incident, a 39-year-old hiker was injured by a grizzly bear, KTVQ reported. The man suffered significant injuries to his lower extremities but was able to hike out on his own, officials said.
In July of this year, a woman camping in Montana was pulled from her tent and killed by a grizzly bear. Wildlife officials later shot and killed the animal.
Montana’s grizzly and human populations have both risen substantially since 1975, when the bears were protected under the Endangered Species Act.