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Oxbow Baseball, Softball Games Canceled by Curious Bear Cub

  • A bear cub wanders around a Blue Mountain Union High field on Friday, May 19, 2017, in Wells River, Vt. The bear’s presence led to the cancellation of Friday’s baseball and softball games between Oxbow and Blue Mountain. (Courtesy photograph)



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wells River, Vt. — The Blue Mountain Union High schedule called for a baseball and softball visit from neighboring Oxbow on Friday. Instead, both teams were forced to confront an unbearable dilemma.

A curious, and perhaps hungry, bear cub stalking the Blue Mountain high school athletic fields on Friday afternoon had players and fans alike seeking indoor shelter.

School officials eventually canceled the contests after the unexpected visitor appeared a second time after delaying the games’ first pitches.

“We made history,” Oxbow baseball coach Shawn French said in a phone interview. “It’s certainly nothing I’ve ever seen before. We shooed it away, but he came back. It’s definitely a first.”

The bear had been camped out around Blue Mountain for the last few days, according to French.

School recess was canceled on Thursday because of the bear’s proximity to the school, and recess was cut short again on Friday as the bear remained in the area.

Friday’s Oxbow-BMU baseball game did start after a 30-minute delay when the bear seemed to have retreated.

Before the softball contest could get underway, however, the bear returned and made its way into one of the softball dugouts with seemingly no intention of leaving the scene.

Because of the schools’ congested schedules, both will have to bear with not rescheduling Friday’s games.