Monkey Business

Lone primate triggers nationwide blackout

Apparently one monkey can stop the show—if the show is an entire country’s electric grid.


A shot taken of the probable suspect who single-handedly turned out the lights on a whole country.

On Tuesday, June 7, Kenya’s power was completely shut down for more than three hours after a small species of monkey performed its own version of “maintenance” on a central transformer at one of the country’s main power stations. Animals seem to have a strange affinity for massive disruptions to machinery lately.

The monkey’s presence at the Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station caused the transformer to trip, igniting a chain reaction that tripped other machines and ultimately set off a nationwide blackout, according to the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), who released this Facebook post following the incident:

“At 1129 hours this morning, a monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer, tripping it. This caused other machines at the power station to trip on overload resulting in a loss of more than 180MW from this plant, which triggered a national power blackout.
The system has since been restored and all our power generating units are operating normally.
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.”

Most accounts infer the monkey climbed onto the roof and then either fell or jumped in order to end up on the transformer. It is reportedly of the vervet species. The monkey survived the ordeal and has been turned over to the Kenyan Wildlife Service, KenGen said.



  1. Electrical Apparatus – July 2016 - Barks Publications - publisher of Electrical Apparatus Magazine - July 2, 2016

    […] The EditorsDirect and Current  In this issue:  Animal mayhem – one monkey takes down the entire electrical grid of the country of Kenya, on the heels of a similar disruption […]

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