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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin Takes On Four Black Bears

April 13, 2012

What a great story.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin rarely backs away from a fight, but he had to beat a hasty retreat Wednesday night when he found himself outnumbered by four black bears that were feasting on bird feeders in the backyard of his Montpelier home.

“I had a tough night,” Shumlin said in jest to Valley News editors and reporters at the start of an editorial board meeting yesterday.

The 56-year-old Vermont native said he had returned to his house in the state capital around 10:30 p.m. and went to bed. The rental home, located in a suburban neighborhood about a 10-minute walk to the Statehouse, backs onto a field and woods. “I hear something banging on the porch, and I’ve just fallen asleep, and I look out at this tree… and there are four bears on my bird feeders,” said Shumlin, who said they included a sow and two cubs.

“I yell at them through the window, they run away, and come right back,” Shumlin said.
Barefoot and straight out of bed, the first-term Democrat said he was intent on rescuing his bird feeders.

“First, I scare them away, and they keep coming back,” Shumlin said of the bears.

“So I go out and grab two of the feeders, run back into the house, then they come back, they knock the suet out, then knock the big feeder down, and they are going at it,” said Shumlin, who also showed a short video he made of the encounter on his smart phone.

Shumlin said he went outside again, and found a bear more aggressive then he expected.

“The (bear) charges me on the porch – I’m tearing through the door. You almost lost the governor,” Shumlin joked. “Security was not there. I was within three feet of getting ‘arrrh.’ “

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