A monkey sent Kenya into a massive blackout after jumping (falling) on a key transformer in the country’s largest hydroelectric plant, the KenGen power generating company said on Wednesday.
The wild primate, appearing to be a vervet monkey, climbed onto the roof of Gitaru plant, located on the Tana river, 160 km north of capital Nairobi, and jumped (fell) onto a key transformer, Efe news reported.
The activated transformer overloaded the plant, leading to a loss of 180 MW of power and triggering a nationwide blackout that lasted four hours.
The monkey survived and is being looked after by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
“KenGen power installations are secured by electric fencing which keeps away marauding wild animals. We regret this isolated incident,” said KenGen in a statement.
Gitaru is the largest hydroelectric plant in Kenya, generating at least one-fifth of the electricity consumed in the country, with a maximum capacity of 225 mW.