U.S. Border Patrol responded to a very different type of crisis Sunday near the Arizona/Mexico border.
A black bear decided to take refuge atop a pair of utility poles along U.S. 191 near the town of Douglas. That’s about 120 miles southeast of Tuscon, on the Mexico border.
Arizona Game and Fish Department noted the bear was at risk of being electrocuted, and the animal kept adding to the danger by continuing to adjust itself atop the live wires, photos showed.
The highway was closed briefly as the Douglas Police Department, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and state wildlife officers joined border patrol agents in trying to coax the bear down. Utility company staff also stood by, in case the bear electrocuted itself and shut down the power, officials said.
“Two dozen onlookers scattered when the bear climbed down on its own,” wildlife officials said on Twitter.
The bear left unharmed and the highway was reopened, WLTX reported. Officials didn’t say how long it took to get the bear down.
Black bears grow to about 400 pounds in Arizona and can be more than 6 feet long, the state reports.
Social media users appeared to be unified in their support for the bear, including some who noted it may have been a mom trying to escape “crazy kids” on Mother’s Day. “I can relate,” one woman tweeted.
“Not gonna lie, that bear looks like it just wants a few freakin’ moments of time, lemme alone,” another man said.
State wildlife officials reported last week that bears are starting to emerge from their winter slumber and sightings are up across the state.
“Bears may be emerging from the winter dens late this year, because sustained temperatures above 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) at elevations 5,000 and above were lacking. Bears are hungry after there winter torpor,” the state posted on Facebook.
(c) 2021 The Charlotte Observer
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.