Getting outfoxed isn’t usually a good thing but the term took on a different meaning recently for a couple of Alabama Power employees.
Mobile-Michigan Avenue Complex Lead Lineman Randy Turner and Lineman Brandon Bellew helped a young fox out of a life-threatening jam after finding the kit wandering aimlessly with a glass jar stuck on its head.
The linemen were doing routine power line maintenance when Bellew, up in a bucket truck, spied something most unusual below in a wooded area off Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile.
“I glanced down at the ground and saw something struggling,” Bellew said. “I thought it was a cat at first glance. Then I noticed it was a small fox with its head stuck in a pint-size Mason jar. He was struggling trying to get out of it.”
Bellew had never seen an animal with its head stuck in a jar. Years ago, he saw a dog with its head stuck in a chip bag before it finally shook free from it. The fox was on the run, however, with no luck getting free from the jar.
Bellew yelled to Turner about what he was seeing on the other side of a fence from where they were working. They completed their work and walked over, each taking one end of the struggling animal. Turner tried to pull the jar off but couldn’t. The men carried the fox to their truck to break the jar.
“We thought about using a hammer but decided it wouldn’t work out well for the fox,” Bellew said. “We ended up using a pair of plyers to break a little off the jar at a time. We put the plyers on the neck of the jar and used pressure to break the glass into three or four pieces. The fox seemed confused when the last piece of jar fell off.”
The Power Delivery linemen don’t think the fox had been stuck in the jar very long. There was a puddle of water near where he was released, but the fox didn’t stop for a drink. And there was nothing left in the broken jar, so he apparently had cleaned it out after getting stuck.
“The fox was so happy to be free, he wasn’t trying to bite or scratch us,” Bellew said. “He realized we were helping him and let us take some photos. I wanted some photos to show my children.”