Bear climbs up power pole in southern Arizona city, gets stuck
WILLCOX, Ariz. (AP) — A bear in Arizona emerged unscathed from quite the power trip when it became stuck on a utility pole.
Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, a utility company based in the southern Arizona city of Willcox, was notified Monday morning that a bear was tangled in power pole wires on the outskirts of town.
Werner Neubauer, a company lineman, said they immediately disabled the power so the animal would not get electrocuted. Neubauer then went up in a bucket lift and used an 8-foot (2-meter) fiberglass stick to try to nudge the bear to go down. He even tried talking to it.
“I think I told him I was gonna help him get down the pole,” Neubauer said. “I know he couldn’t understand me. But it did get his attention.”
Warner Newbauer and Efren Gallego
of the Sulphur Spring Valley Electric Co-op coaxing a young bear off a utility pole in Willcox yesterday.
They cut power to the pole before going up in their boom truck basket. The bear, likely startled up the pole, then moved off uninjured. pic.twitter.com/BIjetTHsja
— AZ Game & Fish Dept (@azgfdTucson) June 8, 2021
After grabbing and biting the stick at times, the bear eventually climbed down and ran off into the desert.
According to Neubauer, there were no injuries, and the power outage, which affected residential customers, only lasted about 15 minutes.
When told the reason for the outage, he said several customers were understanding.
This is the second time in a month that a bear has been spotted in a southern Arizona city.