Every year, we get stories and warnings of bears terrorizing bird feeders around a neighborhood, including one such warning in Centre County, Penn. However, few stories are as fantastic as this one involving a big public figure.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont was heading to bed late Wednesday night when he heard banging about his porch. When he looked outside, there were four bears trying to eat from his bird feeders. (His memory recounts two adults and two cubs, but wildlife officials say it was probably one adult and three cubs.)
The 56-year-old Democratic governor kept scaring them away, but they returned only a few minutes later. So, he decided to remove the feeders from his porch to completely discourage the bears from coming back. Gov. Shumlin wasn’t really dressed for the occasion though because as he puts it, “Real Vermont boys don’t wear pajamas.”
So, baring it all for the bears, he went outside a couple times to take down the feeders. However, the bears unexpectedly returned in the middle of the process.
While on his porch, one of the large bears charged at him and he high-tailed it as fast as he could back into his house. Shumlin is an avid runner and was obviously unencumbered by clothing, which made it easier for him to get away. He joked that the state nearly lost its governor and “I was within three feet of getting ‘arrrh.'”
Although the whole situation definitely sounds comical on so many levels, it’s very lucky nothing bad happened to him because bears are not to be messed with, especially when there are cubs around.
Shumlin went against the advice his own Department of Fish and Wildlife recommendation to take down bird feeders for spring. Certain states, like those with prominent bear populations, encourage homeowners to take down feeders because they can potentially attract bears.
While there are very few methods that completely bear-proof your bird feeders, there are some ways to discourage bears from dismantling your feeders.
Just let this be a lesson for you to never go outside naked when there are hungry bears on the loose.