Wayward monkey knocks out power to all of Kenya

A wandering monkey is being blamed for causing a nationwide blackout in Kenya that paralyzed the the East African nation for hours on Tuesday.

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The monkey tripped a transformer when it dropped from the roof of a power station around 11:30 a.m. local time, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company, also known as KenGen, said in a statement.

"This caused other machines at the power station to trip on overload … which triggered a national power blackout," company officials said.

At 1129 hours this morning, a monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer tripping...

Posted by KenGen Kenya on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Outages continued for at least four hours across the country. The 225-megawatt Gitaru hydroelectric station is the largest hydropower station in East Africa and provides 10 percent of Kenya's power, according to Business Daily Africa.

KenGen called the outage an "isolated incident," although Business Daily Africa noted it is not unusual for the country to experience blackouts. Businesses are frequently left to bear the brunt of spotty electricity.

"Frequent power blackouts have seen many businesses install standby generators that switch on during supply cut-offs, raising their operating costs," the newspaper reported.

KenGen uses electric fencing to keep away "marauding wild animals." 

The monkey survived the fall and was taken in by the Kenya Wildlife Service, according to the electricity company.

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