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Doña Ana County collaborated with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and El Paso Electric Company to rescue a bobcat from atop an electrical pole Tuesday evening.
Residents in the Topaz Road area sighted the wild animal at the top of an electric pole and notified authorities and the electric company. Because the cat was stuck and in a precarious location, among live electrical wire, residents’ concerns and various other factors, a rescue strategy was needed.
“The county recognized that this situation was an ongoing public safety concern. The bobcat did not seem interested in leaving its perch or was too scared to do so,” said County Manager Fernando R. Macias.
To assist state wildlife officials and EPE, the county deployed its Facilities and Parks Department bucket truck, along with employees Andy Segovia and Victor Uranga, to operate the machinery on-site.
Around 4:30 p.m., EPE officials notified the county that they would de-energize the electrical wire in the immediate area after 5:00 p.m., a critical measure to rescue the bobcat. County and Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority staff quickly worked together to notify area residents via social media and emergency alert channels. The necessary outage lasted for less than an hour; and impacted 42 customers, by 5:45 p.m. all power was restored.
“This level of coordination and support from all entities involved to safely rescue this bobcat really exemplifies our partnership and passion we each share for our community and the customers we serve,” expresses El Paso Electric CEO Kelly Tomblin.
“The operation went well, especially considering how quickly it came together,” said Sgt. Chris Ortega from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “I’m humbled by the number of people that were willing to assist our department in our efforts to safely remove the animal. The level of interest from the public was outstanding and demonstrates the combined passion individuals have in the protection of wildlife in our state.”
On Wednesday, Ortega released the critter in the remote Lake Valley area near Hillsboro in the Gila National Forest. He reported that the bobcat’s future consists of abundant food sources and vast rugged terrain to relish.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish strongly urges the public to avoid approaching wildlife or getting too close. Advancing towards wildlife is dangerous and causes additional stress on the animal. For assistance with wildlife related issues, the public can call their office at (575) 532-2100. More information at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/.
For more information about Doña Ana County, please visit www.donaanacounty.org.