VideoAmerican Samantha Deering, 25, was jailed for getting too close to a bear in Yellowstone National Park, after which the animal threatened to attack. Forest police launched a manhunt for the woman after a video of the incident went viral.
Samantha Dearing was convicted of intentionally approaching a wild animal and photographing it at 100 yards (90 metres). 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 barred from entering the park for life.
All of Dearing’s actions were videotaped. In the video, she is shown trying to take pictures of a grizzly bear with two cubs while other visitors anxiously return to their cars. The bear wants to protect her young and pretends to attack the female, but eventually escapes. 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 actually 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.”
“It’s really stupid to approach a wild grizzly bear,” Murray said. “Dearing is fortunate to be here as a defendant in a criminal case and not end up as a devastated tourist.”
Dering is fortunate to be here as a defendant in a criminal case, and she did not end up as a wrecked 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. Last August, nearly a million people visited the park, which 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 bull after he got too close to her. Three years ago, a newborn bison died at the hands of a group of tourists after they dragged the animal into their car because they thought it was cold. It doesn’t go wrong often with bears; Since 1892, only 16 deaths have been reported.
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