BC Hydro workers help bring bear cub to safety after it climbs 50-foot pole

Black bear cub

When a bear cub got stuck atop a power pole last Saturday, BC Hydro workers came to the rescue.

The bear had climbed to the top of a 50-foot-tall poll in Port Hardy, a small community on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island that’s known for its bear sightings.

On Thursday, BC Hydro posted a video of the incident, which shows them using a hydraulic crane, also known as a cherry picker, to raise one of their workers to the top of the pole, just as they would if they were working on the lines. The worker then leans out of the bucket and reaches toward the bear with a pole, gently coaxing it down.

It did take a little prodding before the bear worked up the courage to climb down, but eventually it made it to the ground unharmed and ran off into the bushes.

Although bears are skilled climbers, and have been known to climb power polls in the past, things don’t always end as well as they did this day.

Last month, there was a similar situation in Mary’s Harbour, Labrador, that left one cub dead. When residents of the small town woke to find the black bear cub atop the power pole, it wasn’t moving. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro later confirmed that the young cub was electrocuted after it touched the transformer.

That’s why these crews “de-energized” the 25,000-volt pole first. It may have resulted in a 10-minute power outage for more than 400 people in the area, but it also kept the cub safe.