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Published:May 6th, 2008 13:19 EST
Bear On Prison Grounds Keeps Prisoners From Trying To Escape

Bear On Prison Grounds Keeps Prisoners From Trying To Escape

By Robert Paul Reyes

In a word association game the word "bear" will elicit the following responses: Cute, cuddly, loveable and playful. When you were a child, didn`t you have a favorite teddy bear who chased away all the bad dreams at night?

It`s ironic that bears conjure up such wistful memories, because bears are ferocious creatures, although they don`t usually attack human beings unless provoked.

"Bear" and "law enforcement" usually don`t go together, with the exception of Smokey the Bear who looks askance at litterbugs.

But there is a black bear living in the grounds of a prison in Louisiana that would give prisoners seconds thoughts about trying to escape.

"The way the warden sees it, the 180kg black bear living in the middle of the sprawling Louisiana State Penitentiary is an extra layer of security.

"I love that bear being right where it is," Burl Cain said. "I tell you what, none of our inmates are going to try to get out after dark and wander around when they might run into a big old bear.

"It`s like having another guard at no cost to the taxpayer."

Most of the roughly (73-square kilometre) prison is run as a farm, but about 14 square kilometres is mostly untouched pinewoods."

Quotation from World News Australia

The inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary aren`t in the Big House for being litterbugs, and they would make mincemeat out of a wuzz like Smokey the Bear.

Allow me to digress by asking what`s up with the moniker "Smokey the Bear"? It doesn`t take an Einstein to figure out that he`s a bear, Just "Smokey" ought to do it.

But knowing that bears are in the woods should serve as a deterrent even to the most stir-crazy prisoners.

The bear has not been named by prison officials, and that`s a good idea because a prisoner might risk an escape if the bear was named, say, "Precious the Bear."