Baboon wanders into power station, causes blackout for 50,000

By Ben Hooper
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July 18 (UPI) -- Officials with a Zambian electric utility said about 50,000 customers lost power when a baboon wandered into a power station and tampered with equipment.

ZESCO, Zambia's electricity producer and distributor, said the baboon tampered with high voltage machines at the Livingston station Sunday morning, causing about 50,000 customers to lose power.


The company said employees investigating the outage found the baboon suffering from injuries related to the shock it received from the machines. The primate was turned over to the Zambia Wildlife Authority, which said the baboon was being treated in an Intensive Care Unit.

"The lines the baboon was tampering with are extremely high voltage," ZESCO spokesman Henry Kapata told radio station Byta FM. "You can see that it was electrocuted in so many ways but it has survived. It is an animal, we cannot prosecute it otherwise if it was a human we would have taken it to court."

Kapata said the baboon likely survived the encounter thanks to the animals' heavily insulated palms. He said a human would have probably been killed in the same situation.

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