Friday, November 13, 2009


Anja Hartleb-Parson brought this story to my attention:
Last week, a jury acquitted Kenneth Herron of a misdemeanor charge stemming from an incident in which he somehow managed to get into the Grizzly Bear Grotto at the San Francisco Zoo. Herron, who has a history of mental illness, ended up within bear-arm's length of two 500-pound grizzlies, one of which walked over and sniffed Herron's foot before police scared it away. Herron was extracted, arrested, and charged with trespassing and "disturbing a dangerous animal."
Apparently the jury spent a lot of time deciding whether the bear was "legally disturbed".

You have to be disturbed
to enter a grizzly's grotto.
But if the bear doesn't stir,
or consume you like a gelato,
then a jury may infer,
and indeed conclusively find,
that your presence barely entered
the grizzly's mind.

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