Yellowstone: Grizzly-Harassing Woman Identified and Charged
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 30, 2021
The woman seen harassing Yellowstone grizzlies in a viral video has been identified and charged with two offenses related to the incident.
Several months after the viral video was shot, the subject of the video faces the consequences for their actions in Yellowstone National Park earlier this year. Thanks to social media, the National Park Service was able to find a reckless woman, and now she’ll answer for her behavior in federal court.
According to the Billings Gazette, Samantha Dehring of Carol Stream, Illinois, will appear in the U.S. District Court in Mammoth Hot Springs on August 26. She faces two charges: feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife, and violating closures and use limits.
This stems from her encounter with a mother grizzly and her two cubs near Roaring Mountain on May 15. A video – taken by a bystander – captures the entire incident.
The grizzles were in a highly visible area and well within the 300-foot distance park regulations mandate between Yellowstone’s visitors and its predators. Yet, despite numerous warnings from other visitors, Dehring did not put any distance between her and the bears.
Despite the obvious danger, Dehring stayed put, taking pictures on her phone. At one point, Dehring and the bears were within 15 feet of each other.
Finally, the sow grizzly made a mock charge towards the woman. Only then did Dehring put her phone down, turn around, and walk in the opposite direction.
It didn’t take long for the video of the incident to go viral – and Yellowstone officials were watching.
Within two weeks, Dehring’s photo appeared on the Yellowstone National Park Facebook page. Park officials were asking anyone with tips to contact the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch.
“If you were around Roaring Mountain on May 10, 2021, at 4:45 p.m., or you have information that could help, please contact NPS Investigative Services Branch. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know.”
According to court documents for the case, Dehring might have seen her picture on Yellowstone’s Facebook page. However, rather than turn herself in, she unfollowed the page on the same day.
Fortunately, the social media plug worked. A tip from an unidentified person led to the discovery of Samantha Dehring’s identity. At one point, someone shared the video and tagged Dehring as part of the post.
For the National Park Service, social media has proven to be an excellent tool for self-incrimination.
This year, self-proclaimed comedian Jake Adams was charged after posting videos of himself hitting golf balls in Yellowstone. He claims the balls were biodegradable and was unaware he was violating any rules.