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Vermont governor outruns 4 bears in yard -- barefoot

Barefoot and bold, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin outran four hungry bears vying for the birdfeeders hanging from his backyard porch -- and won.

Shumlin was in bed in his rented Montpelier, Vt., home Wednesday night when he heard a ruckus in his backyard, said Susan Allen, the governor's spokeswoman.

When the 56-year-old Democratic leader looked, he spotted two adult bears and two cubs trying to eat out of his bird feeders. He attempted to chase the bears away, but the animals kept coming back, Allen said.


"The bears were hungry and had just come out of hibernation," Allen said, adding: "[S]eeing them in this residential neighborhood was highly unusual."

When the bears kept clawing at the feeders, Shumlin ran out barefoot to grab the dispensers in an attempt to stop the bears from eating, but one bear charged at him on the porch.

The governor was able to run back into the kitchen, with feeders in hand, and escape the hungry bandits.

Shumlin told the Lebanon Valley News editorial board that Vermont "almost lost the governor," adding that he was within "three feet of getting 'arrrh’," the Associated Press reported.

Allen said Shumlin learned a valuable lesson: "Do not put out feeders in the spring." 

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