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Rescue bid to reach cat stuck on top of 40ft electricity pole carrying 11,000V power lines

RSPCA and Western Power Distribution launch rescue mission for a curious cat

RSPCA officers and crews from Western Power Distribution worked together to rescue a cat who got stuck atop a 40ft electricity pole in Leicestershire last week. The puss – thought to be a local feral – was spotted crouched on top of the tall, wooden pole by members of the public who were concerned he couldn’t get down. RSPCA inspector Sharon Knight and trainee inspector Georgina Bowles went to check on the cat who was looking down from his perch in Exton Lane, Burley, near Oakham, on Thursday (11 May).

She said: “Cats often climb trees, scale telegraph poles and clamber onto rooftops but usually make their own way back down. Over many years of working with animals we,’ve learned that it’s often better to leave them alone so they can find their own way down safely. If it’s fair weather and the cat appears healthy we often ask locals to monitor the situation. However, sometimes the situation is too dangerous to leave the cat and we feel we have to intervene. On this occasion, the cat was extremely high and was sitting on top of a telegraph pole which was carrying extremely high-voltage power lines, around 11,000 volts strong. This was obviously an extremely dangerous situation for the cat and for us so we had to call in a team from the local power company, Western Power.”

The team cut off the power and, using a cherry picker, tried to get up to the cat.

Western Power Distribution’s Melton team manager Mark Baxter said: “Occasionally pets do make their way into substations or up poles. Our equipment is dangerous so we would urge members of the public to ring 105 and ask our engineers for help rather than attempt a rescue themselves.”

Inspector Knight added: “All of the work must have spooked the cat because as soon as the cherry picker started approaching he jumped into the tree branches below and scarpered down before making a run for it. He ran off quickly and didn’t appear injured despite his adventure! We spoke to a local farmer who believes the cat is a feral who lives nearby and is going to keep an eye out for him to check he’s not injured. I’d like to thank Western Power who attended so quickly and were incredibly helpful, as well as the members of the public who reported this cat to us and are going to monitor him to ensure he’s okay.”

The RSPCA asks that people call its 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999 if concerned about a cat stuck in a tree, up a pole or on a roof. It is important not to attempt to rescue a cat yourself. Although cats are agile animals, they can injure themselves badly if they fall from a height.

To help the RSPCA continue with its vital work please donate by visiting: www.rspca.org.uk/give

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