AZ Game & Fish Dept
Now that's a bear-y close call!
Residents of Douglas, Arizona, were treated to a rare and shocking sight on Sunday when a brown bear climbed up a utility pole in the city's downtown area, prompting rescue efforts from numerous animal and law enforcement agencies.
According to the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) in Tucson, the ordeal caused parts of Highway 191 to be briefly shut down as its officers and officials from the Douglas Police Department, Cochise County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Border Patrol figured out how to get the bear down from its precarious position.
In photos shared by the agency, the large mammal can be seen sitting on the wires hanging from an electric pole.
AZ Game & Fish Dept
Wildlife officials said workers from a local power company were also on scene, as "the bear risked electrocution."
The bear — who AZGFD Tucson said had actually scaled two utility poles that day — eventually climbed down on its own accord, causing about two dozen onlookers below to scatter when it wandered back into the wilderness.
There were no reported injuries.
"We're always warning people to be #BearAware this time of year, but looks like this bear needed to be a little more aware, too!" the Arizona Game & Fish Department tweeted from its official account. "Glad everything worked out and everyone - including the bear - was safe!"
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The unique sighting came two weeks after AZGFD Tucson said it had received the "first calls of 2021 about bears" in southeast Arizona, with reports coming in from Elgin and Pima on April 27 and from Thatcher on April 29.
AZGFD Tucson reported on April 30 that a bear was spotted around Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains, which is a popular location for birdwatchers.
"Bears emerge hungry from their winter dens," the department tweeted last month. "So secure your food & garbage where bears are."