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Naked Vermont Governor Fights Off Bears to Protect Bird Feeders

Peter Shumlin protects his bird feeders from hungry bears

Looks like Cory Booker isn’t the only politician out to prove his inherent masculinity. A challenger appears in the form of a Vermont governor, dressed only in his birthday suit, who defended his bird feeders from four hungry bears.

Yes, bears.

Governor Peter Shumlin stripped down to nothing-at-all, got ready for bed (which I like to think involves drinking straight whiskey while curling massive dragon bones) when he heard a raucous outside his home. He looked out his window to see four bears picking at his bird feeders. Though Vermont’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has warned against leaving up bird feeders this time of year because of exactly what happened in Shumlin’s back yard, the governor apparently fears nothing, even bears, and rushed out onto his lawn to shoo the hungry animals.

Naked because “real Vermont boys don’t wear pajamas,” Shumlin retrieved his bird feeders from the angry bears, and engaged in a Faulkner-esque battle of wits with the wild. The bears returned, and Shumlin went out to meet them again, adopting his “strongest Vermonter,” to scare them off for good. The papa bear, wracked by injustice over the governor’s retrieval of its easy meal, pursued the governor to his door. “When I opened the door, he was on the porch and five feet from the door,” Shumlin said. “I screamed through that door. I didn’t know if the bear was coming through.”

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Chief Warden Col. David LeCours said that Shumlin did the right thing to fend off the bears. “Don’t turn and run,” LeCours advised. “We have a lot of animals that view that as their advantage.”

Social media comparisons between the Vermont governor and the Newark mayor Cory Booker cropped up immediately, with one Twitter user saying, “Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin, being chased by bears, dials Corey Booker for help. Gov. now has 4 new bear skin rugs.”

Shumlin himself was appropriately tongue-in-cheek. After reporting the incident, he said only “There is a lesson in all this: Don’t forget to bring in your birdfeeders.”

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