Samantha Dehring, a 25-year-old woman, was jailed for four days after she was found getting too close to a grizzly bear and its two cubs in Yellowstone national park. The Illinois woman was caught on camera while taking pictures of the wild animals.
Along with jail time, US justice department has also ordered Dehring to pay a $1,000 fine and a $1,000 community service payment to a wildlife protection fund and to carry out one year of unsupervised probation.
Dehring Was Barely 15 Feet Away from Bear
The incident which took place on May 10, 2021 was caught on camera. A resident of Carol Stream, Illinois, Dehring is seen clicking pictures with her phone camera as grizzly bear charges towards her and gets dangerously close. The cubs are also seen playing in the background.
The Justice Department revealed that Dehring, who was travelling with a group, spotted the mother grizzly bear and her three cubs while exploring Roaring Mountain in the national park.
According to park officials, while the rest of the group moved away from the bears and entered their vehicles, Dehring chose to remain standing near the bears to take pictures.
Soon after the bear is seen charging towards she is seen putting away her phone in the pocket and rushing away.
Dehring Banned From Yellowstone National Park
In a statement, acting Wyoming U.S. Attorney Bob Murray said, "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."
"Approaching a sow grizzly with cubs is absolutely foolish. Pure luck is why Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist," Murray added.
The website of the National Park Service clearly warns the visitors to maintain a distance of 100 yards from the bears and bars them from approaching and taking pictures of the wild animals. The tourists are also warned against feeding the bear.