In Wilcox, Arizona, a juvenile brown bear found himself into a very “hair-raising” position when he got trapped atop a utility pole. Fortunately for the bear, a power company employee noticed the bear in danger and asked their supervisor for assistance. Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Co-op sent out linemen Warner Newbauer and Apprentice lineman Gallego to see if they could assist the animal.
The two sent a video of their rescue operation to ViralHog, and Newbauer described how the bear’s life was in grave danger.
“When we arrived, we discovered that the bear was in an extremely precarious condition and may electrocute itself at any moment. The cables close to the bear’s head had 7200 volts of activated power. He would have died right away if he had touched one of those.
As soon as possible, they shut off the electricity to the wires and went back to the bear on the pole. The utility employees approached the bear while standing in the boom truck’s cargo basket.
The bear was observing us from the top of the pole while we were putting up our bucket truck, but when I approached him in the bucket, he covered his eyes with his front leg as if he were trying to hide. He glanced up at me when I started chatting to him while I was about 6 feet away from him.
With an 8-foot fiberglass pole, Newbauer tried to talk to the bear from around 6 feet away while also trying to lure him down. That didn’t sit well with the bear, who continued grasping and chewing the stick. The bear eventually moved into a better position thanks to Newbauer, “and then he went down the pole on his own and hurried away,” the author said.
They estimate the bear to have been a young male weighing approximately 100 pounds.
In Arizona, bears have occasionally become entangled on top of electrical wires. Just one month before to this occurrence, in May 2021, an even larger brown bear was seen perched atop two power lines in Arizona. Nevertheless, this bear seemed to be having fun just hanging around.