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Jail time for woman's close encounter a with grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park

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Posted at 2:27 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 17:35:01-04

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — An Illinois woman has been sentenced to four days in jail and banned from Yellowstone National Park for approaching a grizzly bear and her two cubs.

According to the Associated Press, Samantha R. Dehring of Carol Stream, Illinois, 25 years old, pleaded guilty Wednesday to willfully remaining, approaching, and photographing wildlife within 100 yards.

Dehring was also banned for a year from the park by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs.

She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $1,000 to a wildlife protection fund.

The incident happened on May 10, 2021, when the grizzly approached Dehring much closer than the football-field-length limit for people to advance bears and wolves in Yellowstone while she stood and took pictures.

The news outlet reported that the bear bluff-charged, running at her but turning away without attacking.

Judge Carman said his decision was designed to "put an exclamation point on how serious this is."

Park regulations require visitors to stay at least 300 feet away from bears and wolves. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, visitors must give it space. Visitors must 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.