Nfld. & Labrador

Bear cub electrocuted after climbing hydro pole in Mary's Harbour

Residents first spotted the cub atop the hydro pole early Sunday morning, as its mother anxiously paced underneath.

Warning: Photos in this story may be disturbing to some

The cub was first discovered on the pole around 5:30 a.m. Sunday. (Submitted by Stacey Dyson)

A black bear cub didn't survive its climb up a hydro pole in Mary's Harbour, Labrador as residents woke early Sunday morning to see the cub apparently stuck high up, and its mother on the ground below.

"There was no movement from the bear, and the mother bear was actually out right underneath the pole, just looking up," said Stacey Dyson, who was alerted to the situation playing out in her yard around 5:30 a.m.

Hydro workers used a boom truck to reach the cub. (Submitted by Stacey Dyson)

Dyson and her parents quickly called the RCMP, environment and conservation officers and NL Hydro, while the mother bear paced the neighbourhood.

"She was just kind of walking around the pole, going up and down the road and up in other people's yards. It was kind of scary," Dyson told CBC News.

"Then she'd come down here around our house, looking at us through the window."

Recovery effort

NL Hydro confirmed the 34-kilogram cub was electrocuted after it touched the transformer. But removing the bear's body took some effort by police and wildlife officers.

"it was all pretty exciting," said Dyson.

"They were actually trying to get the mother bear away from the pole, so the boom truck could get up and try to get the bear out of the hydro pole."

The bear was eventually scared off, and NL Hydro workers cut power to five customers in the area for about 20 minutes as they removed the body of the cub.

Residents could see burn marks on the cub's face after it was removed from the hydro pole. (Submitted by Stacey Dyson)

Dyson said her mother got up close to it afterwards, to see burn marks on its face. Although Dyson didn't venture that far, it's still the closest encounter she's ever had with a bear.

"They do kind of come out into the community during the summer months, but I've only seen them from a distance, so this was probably the first time ever in my life that I've seen a bear this close."

NL Hydro said wildlife officers are still monitoring the area of southern Labrador.