In Wilcox, Arizona, a young brown bear found himself in a very “hair-raising” position when he got trapped up a utility pole. Fortunately for the bear, a utility worker noticed the bear in difficulty and asked their supervisor for help. The Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Co-op dispatched linemen Warner Newbauer & Apprentice lineman Gallego to see if they could rescue the animal.
The two shared ViralHog a video of their rescue efforts, and Newbauer described how the bear’s life was in grave danger.
Watch this video below:
“When we arrived, we found that the bear was in a perilous situation and was at immediate risk of electrocution. A voltage of 7200 volts was applied to the lines close to the bear’s head. That would have instantaneously killed him if he had touched one of those.
The power to the lines was instantly switched off, and they quickly went back to the bear on the pole. From the boom truck’s cargo basket, the utility employees approached the bear.
The bear was observing us from the top of the pole as we were putting up our bucket truck, but as I approached him in the bucket, he covered his eyes with his front leg, appearing to be attempting to hide. I approached him from a distance of around 6 feet, and as I began speaking with him, he turned to face me.
With an 8-foot fiberglass pole, Newbauer tried to convince the bear to come down while speaking to him from around 6 feet away. That didn’t sit well with the bear at all, and he kept grabbing the stick and biting it. However, after some time, Newbauer managed to move the bear into a more advantageous position, at which point “he climbed down the pole on his own and ran away.”
They assume the bear was a young male weighing in at around 100 pounds.
Arizona Game and Fish Department Tucson Said in their facebook post: “US Hwy 191 west of Douglas was closed briefly yesterday while AZGFD, Douglas PD, Cochise County SO, & the US Border Patrol drove off a 200+ pound bear that had climbed two utility poles on the edge of town. The bear scattered a crowd of two dozen onlookers when it climbed down from the first pole. Patrol vehicles were used to haze it westward after it climbed down from the second. The bear is presumed to have been spooked up the first when vehicle and pedestrian traffic increased at daybreak. AZ Public Service stood by as the bear risked electrocution had it climbed much higher. Tracks indicate it may have headed in from the Mule Mountains. Meantime, AZGFD Tucson cleared a 300-pound male bear from Hwy 82 between Sonoita and Patagonia after it was struck and killed by a vehicle.”
It’s not the first time a bear in Arizona has become entangled on top of electricity cables. A larger brown bear was discovered sitting on two power poles in Arizona in May 2021, just one month before this incident. Nevertheless, this bear seemed to be enjoying his opportunity to roam.
Thankfully, he also came down alone.
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