Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — Tragedy struck a West Palm neighborhood when a man was killed while trying to retrieve one of his pet birds.

READ MORE: Florida Man Accused Of Starving Dogs To Death Inside Abandoned Home

Officials say 36-year-old Elian Garcia Rivers was electrocuted when he used a metal pole to remove one of his pigeons from a power line.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says Rivera was in his backyard Saturday afternoon when he spotted one of his pigeons on a power line running above.

READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 7,128 Additional Cases, 129 New Deaths Reported Wednesday

They say he got a 20-foot pole and tried to remove the bird, but he touched the power line and was electrocuted.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , birds can safely sit on wires because they aren’t grounded — so the electricity in the power line stays put.

People get electrocuted when they touch a power line because they are on the ground, causing the electricity to flow through them.

MORE NEWS: Tamarac Fire Rescue Capt. Urges People To Know The Signs Of Heart Disease After Undergoing Life Saving Surgery

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)