ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - A bird's nest fell into a Duke Energy substation and caused a major power outage at Tropicana Field Thursday night.
Duke Energy officials say animals are among the top causes for electrical outages. They say animals caused more than 4,500 outages in Florida last year.
It's definitely not the first time an animal has cut off power to a major venue. Last May, a squirrel invaded a substation at Busch Gardens, cutting off the park's power for more than four hours.
”Of all of the animal outages, squirrels typically cause the most. But also snakes, raccoons, and birds can get into our transformers,” Duke Energy spokesperson Peveeta Persaud said.
In March, a snake, possibly dropped by a bird into a breaker, cut off power to 16,000 people in Wesley Chapel. The damage cost more than $80,000 to repair.
“Many times, animals are attracted to the humming of our equipment. They can also be attracted to the warmth of our equipment,” Persaud said.
The power company is taking steps to keep animals away by installing protections like so-called critter guards around power poles to keep squirrels from climbing them. They're also building nest platforms to provide birds with an alternative location for their nests, instead of power poles.
Duke Energy officials say since they started using some measures back in 2017, animal-related outages have decreased by 18%.