Woman Who Took Close-Up Photos With Grizzly Bear Receives Jail Sentence


A woman has received a jail sentence for getting too up-close-and-personal to a grizzly bear to snap some photos. 

On May 10, Samantha R. Dehring, from Carol Springs had a near miss with a grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park, as the mother bear tried to protect her cubs.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty on Wednesday, to wilfully remaining, approaching, and photographing wildlife from 100 yards and subsequently received a jail sentence.

Yellowstone National Park - A cinnamon-colored black bear in Wyoming Alamy

Dehring, alongside being banned from the Yellowstone National Park for a year, will be required to spend four days in federal custody as a result of the offence, alongside a $1,000 fine and $1,000 donation to the protection fund of the park, New York Post reports.

According to The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming, Dehring was dismissed of the count of ‘feeding, touching, teasing, frightening, or intentionally disturbing wildlife’, but also received one-year unsupervised probation, a court processing fee of $30 and assessment fee of $10.

According to the Yellowstone National Park’s website, visitors must remain a minimum of 100 yards from the bears and wolves homed by the wildlife park.

Due to having three babies to protect, the mother grizzly bear can be seen charging at Dehring as she approaches, disturbing them all for the sake of a picture.

The clip has since amassed over 121,322 views and 1,831 likes, with Instagrammer, Darcie Addington, labelling Dehring’s actions as ‘absolutely insane’. Other users took to the post in similar outrage of Dehring’s disrespectful behaviour towards the bears. One said: ‘Aw the other bear ran away all scared poor thing.’

You can tell these bears are used to dealing with dumba** humans. They make a production of charging then veer away. How often do you hear of them doing this out in the woods? No she would have been mauled, perhaps killed had this happened there. The shame of it is its the wildlife that pay the price.

A third commented: ‘She came into THEIR home. Mom was protecting her family as any mother would. Stupid hooman. Smh.’

In July, officials of the parks announced the charges against Dehring, after she posted several images of the bears on her Facebook profile.

Acting United States 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.

He concluded that it was ‘pure luck’ that ‘Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist’.


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