The Old Man

Old Man River has awakened, and shown he’s not as feeble and weary as many supposed.

We all are on pins and needles. When the Morganza Spillway is opened, a tremendous amount of water will come down the Atchafalaya River and exit at Morgan City. Low lying areas will suffer back flooding. Whether or not the levees hold is a matter of prayer.

That old river can’t be conquered. We are all just praying that we won’t lose the war this time around. Maybe a battle, but not the war.

We’ve all heard the scenario: Eventually, the Mississippi River will switch back to its old channel, the Atchafalaya River. Massive devestation will occur.

It may not be in our lifetimes. Our children may suffer it.

The foolishness of man. We build homes and farms and cities on fault lines and flood plains. When nature challenges our stupidity, we try to control it. Just as you can’t stitch together a geologic fault, you can’t channel a river the size of the Mississppi. Not for long, anyway.

So we wait, and we pray.

Sometime early this year, a black bear was captured from the Glencoe-Sorrel area. It had become a nuisance bear, looking for food in garbage cans and such.

The bear was relocated to Red River Wildlife Management area.

On the morning of March 25, Carencro police officers spotted the same bear just after midnight near the old Evangeline Downs. They fired at it 31 times. Officers claimed it “made a loud growl and charged” them. One bullet found its mark, the bear stopped briefly, then charged again.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents tracked down the wounded animal and killed it seven hours later.

An autopsy showed the 520-pound bear had been hit with six shots, including the wildlife agent’s final one.

The Advocate reported: “Initial reports show the first two shots were fired by Detective William Walker, who, after spotting the bear crossing the 400 block of Sonnier Road, fired a rifle from about 70 yards away while the bear attempted to cross a fence.

“Reports show that Walker used his department’s .223-caliber rifle and fired one shot into the bear’s upper torso, and then another ‘to no avail.’

“Adam Einck, an LDWF spokesman, said, ‘He was a very wary, cautious bear that had never displayed any aggressive behavior.’”

Anyone who has experience with the Louisiana black bear will tell you it is a very timid creature, and won’t attack under most circumstances. Climbing a fence 70 yards away isn’t likely to be one of those circumstances.

Just like the police officers who unload their pistols on a panther in Bossier City a few years ago, killing it, because after they shot it with a tranquilizer dart it jumped up in surprise from the tree limb it was perched on.

I am never reassured that my assessment of human beings is incorrect.

4 comments to The Old Man

  • pete cooper, jr.

    Human beings ain’t all law enforcement officers, cher.
    Most of ’em don’t go bear hunting with .223 Remington rifles, either!
    I say they fine the bastard to the fullest measure of the law – doesn’t that come to about $60,000?

  • Roger Stouff

    $10,000 per animal, and restitution.

  • Bill

    Shooting bears with a .223? Ruark is spinning in his grave.

  • blufloyd

    Few things I fear more than police. I can’t think of any offhand so I guess they be it.

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