Baboon
The baboon was handed over to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (Zawa) and has suffered serious injuries - Representational ImageAlecia Carter

A baboon tampered with high voltage cables at a power station in Zambia on Sunday morning (16 July) leaving around 50,000 people without electricity.

The country's power producer, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Zesco), confirmed to local media that the baboon had accidentally tampered with the cables, which left Livingstone and surrounding areas with no electricity for five hours.

The baboon cut off power around 6.50am local time (5.50am BST), Zesco spokesman Henry Kapata told Byta FM.

The baboon was handed over to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (Zawa) with serious injuries and is currently recovering in intensive care.

Kapata said the monkey was fortunate to survive the high voltage shock, which could 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. It is an animal, we cannot prosecute it otherwise if it was a human we would have taken it to court," Kapata added.

If a human had committed a similar offense, he could face up to 25 years in jail, Kapata added.

Electricity has now been restored to the affected places in Livingstone and nearby areas.

Livingstone is known as a hub for tourists who visit the nearby Victoria Falls. The plant is close to a national park but it is rare for animals to wander into the 108 megawatt power station.

A similar incident took place last year when a monkey caused a nationwide blackout in Kenya.