A VERVET monkey triggered a nationwide blackout in Kenya after it fell onto a transformer at one of the nation’s main hydroelectric plants, Kenya Electricity Generating Co. said, setting off a frenzied morning of Twitter jokes.
The monkey climbed on to the roof of the Gitaru facility and may have been thrown off balance and onto a transformer, tripping the equipment and causing an overload on other machines at the plant, according to a statement e-mailed by the Nairobi-based power generator, known as KenGen.
The animal survived the incident, it said.
The primate accessed the plant even though KenGen’s facilities are secured by electric fences designed to keep out “marauding wild animals,” the company said. KenGen supplies 80% of the electricity in East Africa’s biggest economy.
The incident resulted in the loss of more than 180 megawatts from the plant, setting off the blackout, according to the utility. Supply has since been restored and power-generating units are operating normally, it said.
The explanation fired up Kenyan Twitterdom with a flood of memes.