The power outage in a New Jersey community a week ago was caused by an unlikely culprit — a fish apparently dropped by a bird and landed on a transformer, officials said.
On Aug. 12, when much of Lower Sayreville was without power, Jersey Central Power and Light crews spotted a fish on a transformer in the New Jersey community southwest of Staten Island, New York, Sayreville police said.
“We’re guessing a bird dropped it as it flew by,” police said on their Facebook page. In a later post, they had fun, asking readers to remember the fish was “a pointless game.” Victim of his death,” called him “Gilligan,” and called him “a hardworking family man” and “a father to thousands.” “
They said the suspect was “last seen flying south” — and urged readers not to attempt to apprehend him because “although he is not believed to be armed, he could still be very dangerous.”
Chris Hoenig, a spokesman for Jersey Central Power and Light, said animals, often squirrels, are a common cause of outages, but “fish is not a common culprit.” The outage, likely caused by Osprey, affected about 2,100 customers in Sayreville for less than two hours.
The Sayreville area is populated by ospreys that were placed on the state’s endangered species list less than a decade ago, Honig said. The company has a very active osprey and raptor conservation program that includes surveying and monitoring nests and relocating nests that are on its equipment or too close to power lines, he said.
Honig told CNN that the company appreciates customers’ patience during the outage, but also expresses sympathy for the suspected bird that lost its lunch.
“If you’ve ever dropped an ice cream cone at a fair, you know the feeling,” he said.