Rogue Monkey Sets off Nationwide Blackout in Kenya

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Talk about monkey business: Countless people in Kenya were left without power for three hours on Tuesday, June 7 after a rogue primate caused a nationwide blackout, the Associated Press reports.

Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen), which supplies 80 percent of the East African nation's electricity, explained in a statement that a monkey climbed up onto the roof of the Gitaru Power Station in central Kenya. The mischievous animal either jumped or fell onto a transformer, and tripped it. This set off a domino effect that shut down other machines at the hydroelectric power station as well, culminating in the loss of 180MW from the plant.

The accident knocked out lights and severed internet service, The New York Times reports. Power was restored last night, and the troublesome monkey—which the Times helpfully identifies as a member of the Vervet species—was given to Kenya’s wildlife services. Last night, KenGen posted a picture on Facebook of the impish creature crouching over the affected transformer.

Vervet monkeys are common in Kenya. They’re known to sneak into backyards and kitchens, but they shouldn’t have come into close contact with one of KenGen’s power installations, which the company claims are secured by electric fencing. Thanks to this incident, the company said in its statement that it's now “looking at ways of further enhancing security at all our power plants.”

[h/t Associated Press]