A town in Zambia has been left without electrical power after a baboon tampered with cables in a hydroelectric power station.
The problematic primate meddled with two high voltage machines at a 108-megawatt power station in Livingstone, a popular tourist town near Victoria Falls on Sunday morning, according to RT.
Henry Kapata, a spokesman of the state-owned electricity company ZESCO confirmed the incident to reporters, saying the resulting blackout, which lasted more than five hours, affected about 50,000 people in Livingstone and surrounding areas.
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The electricity company spokesman said the baboon suffered serious wounds but survived the “massive electric shock” that would have killed a human being.
“The lines the baboon was tampering with are extremely high voltage. You can see that it was electrocuted in so many ways but it has survived.”
He added that the primate has since been handed over to Zambian Wildlife officials as it undergoes treatment at a local hospital.
Kapata stressed that if a human had been responsible for the blackout they could have faced up to 25 years in jail.
“It is an animal. We cannot prosecute it. Otherwise, if it was a human, we would have taken it to court,” Kapata said.
Upon recovery, the animal will be let free into the wild.
Kapata noted that despite the plant’s close proximity to a national park with wild animals roaming around, this is the first time an animal has interfered with its operations.
Electricity has since been restored to the affected customers in Livingstone and the nearby Western Province.
In June 2016, a single monkey caused a four-hour nationwide blackout in Kenya after falling on a transformer at the Gitaru hydroelectric power station, resulting in a loss of 180 megawatts of power.
The monkey survived with mild injuries and was taken in by the Kenya wildlife service.