VIDEOAmerican Samantha Dehring, 25, was jailed for getting too close to a bear in Yellowstone National Park, after which the animal threatened to attack her. Forest police have launched a manhunt for the woman after video of the incident went viral.
Samantha Dehring was convicted of intentionally approaching and photographing a wild animal within 100 meters (90 meters). A Wyoming judge sentenced her to four days in prison. She also has to pay a fine of $ 1,000 (approximately 865 euros), donate $ 1,000 to Yellowstone and is banned from the park for life.
Dehring’s actions were all captured on video. Video shows her trying to snap photos of a grizzly bear with two cubs as the other visitors anxiously return to their cars. The bear wants to protect its young and pretends to attack the female, but ends up running away. After the video also reached the administrators in Yellowstone, they tracked down the woman and charged her.
It is illegal in Yellowstone to approach within 100 yards of a bear, to feed a bear, or to approach a bear to photograph it. “The wildlife of Yellowstone National Park is, indeed, wild,” said US Attorney Bob Murray. “The park is not a zoo where you can watch animals while you are safe behind a fence. They roam freely in their natural habitat and when they feel threatened, they act accordingly.
“It’s really stupid to approach a wild grizzly bear,” Murray said. “Dehring is lucky that she is here as an accused in a criminal case and did not end up as a battered tourist.”
Dehring is lucky that she is here as an accused in a criminal case and that she did not end up as a battered tourist.
Not the first time
The popular Yellowstone Conservation Area receives millions of tourists every year who want to be amazed by the spectacular geysers and many special animal species. Last August, nearly a million people visited the park, which spans a vast area in the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
To protect nature, there are many rules that tourists must follow, but incidents do happen. In 2019, a nine-year-old girl was thrown into the air by a bison after getting too close. Three years earlier, a newborn bison died at the hands of a group of tourists after dragging the animal into their car because they thought it was cold. Bears don’t get it wrong that often; since 1892, only 16 bear deaths have been reported.
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