SRP crews rescue trapped tortoise

Happy ending for an escaped pet tortoise that dug dangerously close to an underground power line

UPDATE (Aug. 30, 2015): Nick the tortoise is now a daddy! See a photo of the seven hatchlings in this story from CBS 5.

You’ve seen us save a kitten at a power plant.

You’ve learned how we divert birds away from power lines.

Now, let’s talk tortoises.

Last week our crews received an urgent call from a customer whose pet tortoise – a 100-pound African sulcata tortoise named Nick – had dug underneath its fenced enclosure and gotten stuck dangerously close to a power line more than 4 feet underground.

The tortoise had been underground for a few days when its owners called the fire department, which advised them to call SRP.

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What’s the deal with those small squares on power lines?

They’re called bird flight diverters, and they help birds steer clear of power lines.

Recently, @mmoulton on Twitter sent us this photo of one of the small reflective squares hanging from SRP power lines in Gilbert, and asked us to explain what they are. It’s a great question, and we’re guessing other folks may be wondering the same thing.

Here’s the answer: those 3″x5″ Flappers hanging from power lines are bird flight diverters, which help birds maneuver around power lines. They glow in the dark, spin and reflect light. We installed about 100 of them earlier this year on power lines along Gilbert Road from Queen Creek Road to Ocotillo Road.


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SRP workers rescue trapped kitten at power plant

Last week, SRP’s Ruben Rodriguez and Gary Woods found a kitten stuck in a screen near a cooling tower at Agua Fria Generating Station.

With help from others, including SRP’s Mark Serna, they removed it.

Rodriguez took the cat home to Mayer, where his wife is a veterinary technician at an animal hospital that will work to get the kitten healthy and adopted. Nice job, guys!