When, in 2007, we heard stories about monkeys breaking into people’s houses to steal their food and sexually harassing women in a Kenyan village, it never crossed our minds that they were capable of throwing the whole country into darkness for hours. Only that this time, it might have been an accident.
A monkey of the Vervet species climbed onto the roof of the Gitaru Power Station on Tuesday and fell (or jumped) onto a transformer. “This caused other machines at the power station to trip on overload resulting in a loss of more than 180 MW from this plant which triggered a national power blackout,” Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen), the leading electric power generation company in Kenya said in a statement.
“KenGen power installations are secured by electric fencing which keeps away marauding wild animals. We regret this isolated incident and the company is looking at ways of further enhancing security at all our power plants.”
The monkey survived and was given to Kenya’s wildlife services, KenGen said, adding that it had since fixed the power failure.
Vervet monkeys are pesky little creatures, usually about two feet long (not including the tail). The events in the small village of Nachu in Kenya several years ago is testament to how mischievous they can be. However, in the power disruption case in Kenya, no one could say whether it was another mischief or an accident. If it was a show of peskiness, the monkey has another chance to be annoying again.