An Illinois woman faces criminal charges after she was captured on video being bluff charged by a grizzly bear while she was taking photos in Yellowstone National Park. The woman was among a small group of tourists who spotted the female grizzly and her two cubs on May 15 in the Roaring Mountain area of the park, The Billings Gazette reported .
Witnesses told investigators that when they saw the bears coming closer, they returned to their vehicles and warned the woman to get back but she did not until after the sow grizzly charged her.
Park regulations require visitors stay at least 300 feet away from bears and wolves.
Investigators got a warrant to search the suspect’s social media posts after receiving a tip from someone who had seen a posting of the video with the suspect’s name tagged.
The Carol Stream, Illinois woman faces charges of feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife and violating closures and use limits.
An initial court appearance has been set for Aug. 26. The woman 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.
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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