21 May 2015, Harare – Don’t automatically curse your state power utility when you’re plunged into darkness: baboons might be to blame.
A troop of the cheeky primates was behind a three-hour power cut in the resort town of Victoria Falls this weekend, the state-owned Chronicle has reported.
The Bulawayo-based newspaper said the baboons refused to let technicians from the state Zesa power authority fix a fault at a substation in the town on Saturday morning after one of the animals got an electric shock from a live cable.
“They were playing on electric poles at the power station and one of them got an electric shock and fell to the ground where it lay motionless,” security guard Bernard Ndlovu told the paper.
The paper said the baboons guarded the body of the baboon who’d had the shock and “charged” anyone who came near.
Eventually, rangers from the state national parks authority had to be called in to drive the troop away.
A tourism industry official told News24 from Victoria Falls: “I presumed it was another semi-scheduled power cut.”
“It’s not the first time that wildlife has got tangled up with the transformer. It happens once or twice a year,” he said in a telephone interview.
Victoria Falls lies within a national park, which means that wild animals end up not infrequently in the busy streets of the town. Rangers had to drive a herd of buffalo out of the town in December.
The herd had been chased into the town centre by a pride of lions.
Readers of the Chronicle suggested that Zesa should install underground cables to prevent this kind of incident.
Tonhodzai Mangezha commented on the myzimbabwe.co.zw newsite: “Baboons [are] caring for one another better than Zimbabweans.”