BILLINGS, Mont. – Illinois woman faces criminal charges after being filmed being accused of bluffing by a grizzly bear while taking photos in Yellowstone National Park.
The woman was among a small group of tourists who spotted the female grizzly bear 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 approaching, they returned to their vehicles and warned the woman to return, but she did not do so until after the grizzly bear charged her.
Park regulations require visitors to stay at least 300 feet from bears and wolves.
The video of the meeting was widely shared on social networks. On May 25, the park posted a photo of the woman with a call for advice that could help identify her.
Investigators obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s social media posts after receiving advice from someone who saw a post of the video with the suspect’s name tagged.
The wife of Carol Stream, Illinois, is accused of intentionally feeding, touching, teasing, scaring or disturbing wildlife and violating closures and limits of use.
A first court appearance has been set for August 26. The woman has not yet pleaded.