Rescuing a Bear Stuck on a Power Pole
Occurred on June 7, 2021 / Willcox, Arizona, USA
Info From Licensor: "On Monday morning one of our employees saw that bear on the pole as he was driving by. This was just outside of town. He called my supervisor, who told me about the bear. Me and my Apprentice Lineman, Efren, got in our bucket truck and drove out to the area. When we got there we found that the bear was in a very dangerous situation and could get itself electrocuted at any time. The lines near the bear's head were energized with 7200 volts. If he was to touch one of those it would have killed him instantly. We immediately drove down the road to a spot where we could de-energize the line, then we drove back to the pole with the bear on it. As we were setting up our bucket truck the bear was watching us from the top of the pole, but when I started moving up towards him in the bucket he covered his eyes with his front leg as if he was trying to hide. When I got up close to him, maybe 6 feet away, I started talking to him, and then he looked up at me. I used an 8-foot fiberglass stick to try and push him out of where he was between the cross arms and the cross arm braces. He wasn't very cooperative at first, he kept grabbing that fiberglass stick and holding on to it, and biting it. After a while, I was able to get him pushed back out from that position and then he climbed down the pole on his own and ran away. We had the power shut off to 107 meters for about 15 minutes while we got the bear down, so it could be done safely. I am a Lineman for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative. The bear was a young male, I would estimate that he weighed about 100 pounds."