NAIROBI: A monkey sparked power cuts across Kenya after it fell onto a transformer at a power station, the country’s largest electricity company said on Wednesday.
The primate survived its brush with death although vast swathes of the country were left without power for several hours on Tuesday before supplies were restored.
“A monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer, tripping it. This caused other machines at the power station to trip... resulting in a loss of more than 180 megawatts from this plant which triggered a national power blackout,” KenGen said in a statement.
The outages lasted more than four hours before engineers were able to restore supplies following the incident that happened shortly before 11.30 am.
“Our technical teams have been able to restore supply to the affected areas following the outage... the country is now back to normal supply,” said Kenya Power’s general manager for network management, Daniel Tare.
KenGen’s power stations are surrounded by electric fences to ward off curious wild animals. KenGen said it is now conducting a review of security at its sites.
The monkey was handed over to the Kenyan Wildlife Service after its fall, according to KenGen.
Gitaru is one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in East Africa and a key source of power for the country, located 180 km northeast of the capital Nairobi.