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Carol Stream Woman Charged After Getting Too Close To Grizzly Bear And Cubs At Yellowstone National Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A woman from west suburban Carol Stream is facing criminal charges for a dangerous photo op at Yellowstone National Park.

Social media sleuths helped park rangers track down Samantha Dehring, who was caught on video on May 15 as she approached a mother grizzly bear and two cubs in the Roaring Mountain area of the park.

Witnesses told investigators that Dehring was with a group of tourists who spotted the bear and two cubs. Witnesses said, when they saw the bears coming closer, they returned to their vehicles and warned Dehring to get back, but she did not until after the mother grizzly charged her.

According to charges filed in federal court in Wyoming, she was about 15 feet away from the bear. Park regulations require visitors to stay at least 300 feet away.

Investigators got a warrant to search Dehring's social media posts after receiving a tip from someone who had seen a posting of the video with her name tagged.

Dehring is charged with feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife and violating closures and use limits. She scheduled to appear in federal court in Mammoth, Wyoming, on Augl 26. She has not yet entered a plea.

About two weeks after the incident, a 39-year-old hiker was injured by a grizzly bear, CBS affiliate KTVQ reported. The man suffered significant injuries to his lower extremities but was able to hike out on his own, officials said.

In July of this year, a woman camping in Montana was pulled from her tent and killed by a grizzly bear. Wildlife officials later shot and killed the animal.

Montana's grizzly and human populations have both risen substantially since 1975, when the bears were protected under the Endangered Species Act, "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker reported last year.



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