Baboon zaps power to tourist town

18 July 2017 - 08:38 By Reuters
Tourists found themselves in the dark after a baboon tampered with equipment at a hydroelectric power station. File photo.
Tourists found themselves in the dark after a baboon tampered with equipment at a hydroelectric power station. File photo.
Image: SUPPLIED

A baboon plunged a Zambian tourist town into darkness on Sunday after tampering with equipment at a hydroelectric power station, the state electricity company said yesterday.

The 108MW power station in the town of Livingstone, a hub for tourists visiting nearby Victoria Falls, is close to a national park, but it is rare for animals to wander into the plant.

Zambian state-owned power company Zesco, which owns the power station, said the baboon disturbed a high-voltage transformer, causing a blackout that left about 40000 customers without electricity for five hours.

"The baboon suffered an electric shock and was taken to wildlife officers for treatment," Zesco spokesman Henry Kapata said.

He added that the animal was fortunate to survive.

In a similar incident last year, a monkey caused a nationwide blackout in Kenya. 

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