Thousands lost power in a New Jersey town after an unexpected animal fell on a transformer

Thousands lost power in a New Jersey town after an unexpected animal fell on a transformer

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Power in a New Jersey town was knocked out for hours over the weekend and police shared a fishy explanation —literally. 

Around 2,100 JCP&L customers in Sayreville lost electricity when a fish destroyed a transformer, officials said. Investigators with the Sayreville Police Department believe a bird dropped the fish on the transformer as it flew overhead on Saturday. 

Police paid tribute to the fish in a social media post after the power outage, naming it Gilligan. 

“Please let us not forget the victim in this senseless death,” officials wrote. “Gilligan was a hard working family man. He was a father to thousands of children.”

Police also shared a photo of the “suspect,” who was last seen flying south.  JCP&L said the bird was likely an osprey.

“If you see him do not try to apprehend him,” police wrote. “Although he isn’t believed to be armed he may still be very dangerous. If you have any information in this case please contact Det. John Silver who handles all of our fish cases.”

While animal contact is a common cause of power outages, fish are uncommon, a JCP&L spokesperson said. The power company sent thoughts to both the fish’s family and to the osprey who dropped the fish.

“If you’ve ever dropped your ice cream cone at the fair, you know the feeling,” the spokesperson said.

There’s a large osprey presence in that section of New Jersey, according to the power company. JCP&L said the outage served as a reminder to stay away from electrical equipment and to avoid using “power lines for your neighborhood fish fry.”

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