Monkey trips over in power plant, sends Kenya into nationwide blackout

Thousands of homes left without power after trespassing vervet sabotages wires

Gabriel Samuels@gabs_samuels
Thursday 09 June 2016 18:54
The monkey dropped onto a transformed and sabotaged the plant's electricity systems
The monkey dropped onto a transformed and sabotaged the plant's electricity systems

Thousands of Kenyan residents were left without electricity when a small monkey accidentally sabotaged wiring at a major power plant.

The wild vervet monkey tripped a transformer after climbing off a roof at Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station in the Eastern Province, according to NPR.

Kenya Electricity Generating Co (KenGen) explained in a Facebook post that the generators were sent into “overload” by the subsequent chain reaction, losing over 180MW of electricity and prompting a “national power blackout”.

Many homes in Kenya’s capital Nairobi were still without power on Wednesday, despite KenGen announcing it had resolved the issue on Tuesday evening.

Vervet monkeys enjoy a range of fruit and often get into mischief

The post continued: “KenGen power installations are secured by electric fencing which keeps away marauding animals.

“We regret this isolated incident and the company is looking at ways of further enhancing security at all our power plants.

“The system has since been restored and all our power generating units are operating normally.”

The monkey survived the incident and was later transferred to the Kenyan Wildlife Service to be looked after.

The Gitaru plant is believed to be the largest hydropower station in East Africa and serves thousands of homes with electricity.

Vervet monkeys are typically around 2ft long and enjoy running along power lines to reach fruit from from low-hanging trees.

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