Illinois Woman Charged with Two Counts of Disturbing Bears in Yellowstone

Illinois Woman Charged with Two Counts of Disturbing Bears in Yellowstone

Samantha Dehring faces up to a year in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted on two counts.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY — Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray announced today that Samantha R. Dehring, 25, of Carol Stream, Illinois, was charged with one count of willfully remaining, approaching, and photographing wildlife within 100 yards and one count of feeding, touching, teasing, frightening, or intentionally disturbing wildlife.

Dehring is expected to appear in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming on August 26, 2021, for her arraignment. 

According to the violation notices, Dehring was at Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone National Park on May 10, 2021, when visitors noticed a sow grizzly and her three cubs. While other visitors slowly backed off and got into their vehicles, Dehring remained.

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She allegedly continued to take pictures as the sow bluff charged her. Witnesses took pictures and video of the incident which was shared with news outlets and eventually led to her identification.

Dehring faces up to a year in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Park rangers from Yellowstone National Park provided the results of their investigation to rangers in Dehring’s area who served her the violation notices in person. These charges are only accusations of a violation of law and Dehring is presumed innocent until when and if proven guilty. 

This case is being investigated by Yellowstone National Park Rangers and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick. For questions relating to Yellowstone National Park, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 307-344-2015 or