Florida Man Dies Using 20-foot Metal Pole to Remove Bird From Power Line

March 26, 2019 Updated: March 26, 2019

A Florida man died from fatal electric shock while using a 20-foot aluminum pole to remove one of his pet pigeon off a power line, according to reports.

After receiving a call about a possible electrocution accident, deputies found 36-year-old Elian Garcia-Rivera between a large pigeon coop and a chain link fence, unresponsive, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigators found that Garcia-Rivera housed pigeons in his backyard.


On Saturday afternoon, Garcia-Rivera spotted one of his pigeons perching on a power line above, and he decided to try to get it off with the metal pole.

“He attempted to get a pigeon off of the power line in his backyard by using a 20-foot aluminum pool pole,” agency spokeswoman Teri Barbera told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “The pole hit the power line and Garcia-Rivera was thrown to the ground.”

Garcia-Rivera was hospitalized after being discovered, but he didn’t survive.


According to experts from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bird is able to rest on power lines without electrocuting itself because both of its feet are on the same wire. Like all energy, electricity always flows from high-energy areas to areas of less energy through the path that has least resistance.

If the bird has one foot on the wire, and the other foot on, for example, a different wire with less voltage, the bird would be electrocuted. In that case, electric current would pass through the bird on its way from the high-voltage wire to the lower-voltage wire.

Power lines above West Main Street in Middletown on Jan. 14, 2016. (Holly Kellum/The Epoch Times)

Russian Teenager Drops Phone in Bathtub

A 15-year-old Russian martial arts champion was electrocuted when she dropped her iPhone in the bathtub, according to local reports.

A rising star in the world of Pankration, Irina Rybnikova was found dead in the bathtub in her home in Siberia by her parents.

Rybnikova had died instantly of heart failure when her phone, plugged into a charger, fell into the water on Dec 8, 2018.

Her sister Tatiana, 25, said that the preliminary findings pointed to death by electric shock.

Phone Deaths on the Rise

With phone ownership rocketing over the last decade, stories of electrocution via smartphone chargers have started to appear in recent years, especially among teenagers.

But it’s not only potential electrocution that’s deadly.

In October, researchers found that since 2011, there had been 259 documented deaths worldwide from taking selfies. The research, however, was limited. They believe that the 259 recorded case to be just the tip of the iceberg, as people brush with death to get the perfect image, falling off boats and over waterfalls.

In 2015, Russian authorities issued official warnings as a trend for “daredevil” selfies and videos took hold, saying “a cool selfie could cost you your life.” Over 100 people had been injured and 10 killed in death-defying stunts gone wrong, including a woman wounded by a gunshot and two men who killed themselves blowing up grenades.

A trend had also grown in Russia for selfies on top of moving trains.

The Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey contributed to this report.