Kenneth Herron may have picked the wrong cage but apparently the right counsel. Herron was acquitted of “disturbing dangerous animals” on a novel defense by deputy public defender James Conger. Conger argued that the bears were actually not that disturbed when Herron came into their cage after the San Francisco Zoo closed.
Herron, 21, was facing a misdemeanor charge for entering the zoo on September 26th. He went into the cage with two 500-pound grizzlies. One bear sniffed Herron’s shoe but then fled when a zoo official fired a warning shot. Conger argued that one bear sniffing a shoe does not a disturbed grizzly make.
This is a disturbed grizzly defending against a real cougar (as opposed to a conger).
Notably, this is not the first controversy involving humans versus animals at the zoo, here.
The jury agreed with Conger and found no disturbance. Moreover,
Superior Court Judge Wallace Douglass ruled the day before that a trespassing charge against Herron could not proceed because the prosecution couldn’t prove that he intended to “occupy” the cage — particularly given his mental problems.
In the end, Conger proved that a 150 pound lawyer is more dangerous than two 500-pound grizzly bears.
For future cases, here is a zoological expert on the bear necessities of life:
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