YELLOWSTONE, Wyo. — A 25-year-old Illinois woman has been charged with two wildlife violations stemming from an incident captured on camera in May.
Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray announced two charges against the individual yesterday. The Illinois woman 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.
The incident involving a grizzly sow and her cubs garnered significant attention on social media due to public outrage.
The woman is expected to appear in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming on Aug. 26, 2021, for her arraignment.
According to the violation notices, the 25-year-old 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, the woman remained. She continued to take pictures as the sow bluff charged her.
Video of the encounter was widely shared on social media. On May 25, the park posted a photo of the woman along with a plea for tips that could help identify her.
The woman 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 the area who served her the violation notices in person. These charges are only accusations of a violation of law and she 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.