Grizzly encounter sends woman to jail


A 25-year-old Illinois woman has pleaded guilty to willfully remaining, approaching and photographing a bear resulting in her being bluff charged. The video of the incident was widely publicized. Samantha Dehring appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs on October 6th for her change of plea and sentencing hearing. She was sentenced to four days in custody, one-year unsupervised probation, and ordered to pay $2040 in fines, including a $1,000 fine, a $1,000 community service payment to Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund, a $30 court processing fee and a $10 assessment. 

Dehring also received a one-year ban from Yellowstone National Park. According to the violation notices, Dehring was at Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone National Park on May 10th  when visitors noticed a sow grizzly and her three cubs. While other visitors slowly backed off and got into their vehicles, Dehring remained. She continued to take pictures as the sow bluff charged her. 

According to Yellowstone National Park regulations, when an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors are expected to stay 25 yards away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. 

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