Sparky, a bear cub who survived a stroll through a BPA power substation last year, returned to the Olympic Peninsula after months at a rehab center for orphaned bears. (Photo courtesy of Idaho Black Bear Rehab)
Sparky, the orphaned bear who took refuge in a Bonneville Power Administration substation last year, returned to the wild earlier this month.“Folks really took to the little fellow,” said Joel Myer, spokesman for Mason County Public Utility District No. 3, the local utility that affectionately named the bear cub Sparky after he narrowly avoided electrocution. “We’re thrilled to hear Sparky is healthy and back home in the woods.”Last October, the frightened black bear cub entered BPA’s substation in Shelton, Wash., about 20 miles northwest of Olympia, and climbed on energized high-voltage electrical equipment. (Read Sparky’s backstory.)“That was a really close call,” recalled substation operator Bob Armanino, whose quick action to de-energize the equipment saved the bear’s life. “Hopefully, Sparky’s done touring power substations.”Eventually, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff lured him out of the substation and into a trap with donuts. About a week later, he was taken to Idaho Black Bear Rehab near Boise.