New Jersey Town Loses Power — and Electric Company Says a Bird That Dropped a Fish Is to Blame

The fish was remembered as a "hard working family man" named Gilligan, local officials joked

Over 2,000 people in a New Jersey town lost power this month after a really fishy move by one bird, officials said.

It happened after a bird, likely an osprey, dropped a fish on a transponder in Sayreville on Aug. 12, Jersey Central Power and Light Company spokesperson Chris Hoenig tells PEOPLE. The move knocked out power for less than two hours.

"Animal contact is a common cause of power outages, however fish are not on the list of frequent offenders," Hoenig says. "Not sure if this is the first ever incident like this for JCP&L, but certainly the first in the past 25+ years."

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Police in the town had some fun with the mishap on social media, paying tribute to the fish, which they nicknamed Gilligan.

They also asked anyone who spotted the "suspect" to contact "Det. John Silver who handles all of our fish cases."

The Washington Post noted that the reference referred to sailor Long John Silver, a fictional character often seen with a bird on his shoulder.

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"Todays power outage was a major inconvenience for so many of our residents," the department wrote in their statement.

"Gilligan was a hard working family man. He was a father to thousands of children," their post added. "The suspect was last seen flying South. If you see him do not try to apprehend him. Although he isn’t believed to be armed he may still be very dangerous."

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While speaking with PEOPLE, Hoenig went on to jokingly offered the electric company's condolences to the bird's family.

"We also send our thoughts to the osprey – if you’ve ever dropped your ice cream cone at the fair, you know the feeling," he says. "Though we do appreciate the osprey’s desire to really connect with the community – the Sayreville H.S. sports teams are the Bombers."

The area has a "large osprey presence" after the birds were "on the endangered species list in NJ until less than a decade ago," he explains.

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"We have a very active osprey and raptor protection program, which includes surveying and monitoring nests and following strict protocols in relocating osprey nests that are located on our equipment or too close to power lines," Hoenig says.

He went on to note that he hopes Gilligan's death now "serves as a good reminder to keep a safe distance from all electrical equipment," and not to use "power lines for your neighborhood fish fry."

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