Australia Today

Horny Birds Cause Mass Blackout in Perth by Rooting on Power Lines

More than 1,000 homes in Perth lost power when two kookaburras had sex too close to the electrical wires, zapping themselves to death.

by Gavin Butler
13 June 2019, 7:48am

Image via Flickr user John, CC licence 2.0

This article originally appeared on VICE AU.

A pair of horny kookaburras are thought to have caused a mass blackout in Australia by having sex on top of a power pole.

Fairfax reported that a man was out walking his dog near the corner of Albion Place and Fair Lane Drive in Carine, Perth, when he saw the two birds near the power lines. In the heat of the moment, the frisky kookaburras seem to have gotten too close to the electrical equipment: triggering “two big blue flashes” and a series of loud bangs, according to the witness. Moments later, the power went out in more than 1,000 homes around Perth.

There’s a few puns we could throw around here: about how the lovebirds’ relationship started with a spark and finished with a bang, etc etc. And even Western Power spokesman Paul Entwistle, whose company was sent to the scene to assess the damage, seized on the opportunity, quipping that “it seems to be a case of a couple of lovebirds who have made the wrong connection, unfortunately.”

The fact is though, they’re dead. That whole “big blue flashes” and loud bangs thing was likely a result of the kookaburras being fried with anywhere between 155,000 and 765,000 volts. Like Romeo and Juliet, these wire-crossed lovers lost it all for the sake of a quick, feverish root.

Power was restored to the suburb within a few hours—although the process was delayed somewhat due to the fact that “the pole that they decided to make their love nest was pretty close to a substation,” according to Paul. “Just because of protocols we [had] to have a bit of a look around the sub-station too to make sure there was no flash-over that's gone back into the substation,” he said.

“But I think generally from these sorts of incidents, the network comes out trumps but the birds seldom do.”

R.I.P.

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