The woman was sentenced to four days in prison and thrown out of the park for a year for not giving room to the bear and three cubs.
An Illinois woman will spend four days in jail and be banned from Yellowstone National Park for a year for not getting out of the way of a grizzly bear and three cubs while visiting the park in May.
Samantha Dehring, a 25-year-old woman from Carol Stream, Ill., pleaded guilty to “deliberately living, visiting, and photographing wildlife within 100 yards,” Bob Murray, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming, pleaded guilty to. announced on Thursday.
while traveling roaring mountain According to the US Attorney’s office, on May 10 in Yellowstone, Ms Dehring and others saw a grizzly bear with three cubs. Others in the park turned away from the bears and returned to their vehicles, but Ms Dehring did not back down and took pictures of the animals, the US Attorney’s office said.
Ms Dehring appeared before US magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman on Wednesday, who sentenced her to a brief prison term and issued the park ban. She was sentenced to one year of unheard-of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $1,000 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund.
“The park is not a zoo where animals can be viewed within the safety of an enclosure,” Mr Murray said in a statement, adding that in their natural habitat, wild animals would react when threatened.
“It is absolutely foolish to sow grizzlies with cubs,” he said. “Here, pure luck is why Dehring is a criminal defendant and not a tourist.”
Ms Dehring also faced one more count of feeding, touching, teasing, intimidating or intentionally harassing wildlife, but this was dismissed.
Ethan Morris, an attorney representing Ms Dehring, said in a statement that she “shows great remorse and regret for her actions throughout this case.”
Mr Morris said Dehring had received “constant online abuse” since the video of her encounter with the bear was circulated online.
“While we understand that the court should send a message to prevent others from violating the park rules, it is unfortunate that the district attorney’s office chose to oust Ms. Dehring,” Mr. Morris said. “Nevertheless, we accept the court’s decision and conviction and hope that this case serves as an opportunity for park visitors and staff to take steps to prevent something like this from happening again.”
Ms Dehring’s visit to Yellowstone came at a time when people were exploring national parks at record rates. yellowstone set Visitation Records in MayOther popular parks, such as Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Joshua Tree National Park in California, also attracted large crowds, hosting 483,159 visitors.
Yellowstone National Park officials declined to comment about the arrest.
Yellowstone Rules Prevent visitors from “going near or near wildlife, including nesting birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces animals.”
Visitors are advised to stay 25 yards away from larger animals such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards from bears and wolves.
In April, a 40-year-old man was attacked by a grizzly bear west of Yellowstone. Emergency responders arrived to help the man, but he later died of his injuries.