American Samantha Deering, 25, had to spend a few days in prison because she got too close to a bear in Yellowstone National Park, after which the animal threatened to attack it. Forest police launched a manhunt for the woman after a video of the incident went viral.
Samantha Deering of Illinois was convicted of intentionally approaching and photographing a wild animal from 100 yards away. A judge in Wyoming sentenced her to four days in prison. She also has to pay a fine of $1,000 (about €865), donate $1,000 to Yellowstone, and is banned for life from entering the famous nature park.
Deering’s actions date back to May of this year and were captured on video. A short scene shows the young woman trying to take pictures of a grizzly bear with two cubs who happen to be wandering near the parking lot. The American gets as close as possible to get an amazing shot. One of the bears feels threatened and seems to have started the attack for a while, but eventually escapes with the rest. After the video also reached Yellowstone officials, they tracked down and charged the woman.
There is no zoo
It is illegal in Yellowstone to approach a bear more than 100 yards, feed a bear, or walk a bear to photograph it. “The wildlife in Yellowstone National Park is truly wild,” said US Attorney Bob Murray. “The park is not a zoo where animals can be seen while you are safely behind a fence. They roam freely in their natural environment and when they feel threatened, they act accordingly.”
Dering is fortunate to be here as a defendant in a criminal case, and she did not end up as a wrecked tourist
“It’s really stupid to approach a wild grizzly bear,” Murray said. “Mrs. Dearing is fortunate to be here as a defendant in a criminal case and not end up as a battered tourist.”
Not the first time
The famous Yellowstone Conservation Area receives millions of tourists every year who want to be amazed by the wonderful geysers and the many special animal species. The park spans a large area in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
To protect nature, there are many rules that a tourist must adhere to, but accidents do happen. In 2019, a nine-year-old girl was thrown into the air by a bison after she got too close to her. Three years earlier, a newborn bison died at the hands of a group of tourists after dragging the animal into their car, thinking it was cold. Don’t get the bears wrong too much: Since 1892, 16 bear deaths have been reported.
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