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How to avoid monkey electrocutions?

Monkeys are increasingly facing a modern threat: electrocution. As urbanization expands and power lines crisscross through once-wild habitats, monkeys are at risk of unintentional contact with live electrical lines.

Electrocuted colobus conservation taken care of
Source: Colobus Conservation

As human development expands into their habitats and it becomes segmented, primates in search of their feeding and resting trees are frequently left to depend on the wires as a bridge to cross roads, or to move between isolated forest patches. They travel across unprotected power lines as naturally as they would the vines and branches of the rainforest.

Their instinctual need to explore may make them inadvertently come into contact with electrical structures, forming a connection between two parallel wires with their bodies and completing the circuit that ends up with their electrocution. The high voltage transformers are an additional risk.

Several monkey species are particularly vulnerable to electrocutions, as they navigate their habitats, often near human settlements. The top monkey types affected include:

Spider Monkey

Known for their long limbs and prehensile tails, spider monkeys are expert tree-dwellers. Unfortunately, their arboreal lifestyle brings them into close proximity to power lines, increasing the risk of electrocution.

Howler Monkey

Renowned for their distinctive vocalizations, howler monkeys are often found in the treetops. Their curious nature can lead them to explore new environments, putting them at risk of coming into contact with exposed electrical lines. The fact that they navigate using their tails, makes electrocution even more propense.


Baboons are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including areas with human infrastructure. Their inquisitive behavior may bring them close to power lines, making them susceptible to electrocution.

Colobus Monkey

Colobus monkeys are characterized by their striking black-and-white fur. As they traverse the forest canopy, they may encounter power lines, posing a threat to their safety.

Sykes' monkeys

Native to East Africa, Sykes' monkeys are often found in areas where human development encroaches on their natural habitat. This proximity to power lines increases the likelihood of electrocution incidents.

Vervet monkeys

Vervet monkeys are social creatures that thrive in various environments, including regions with electrical infrastructure. Their interactions with power lines can result in unintended electrocutions.

To address the growing concern of monkey electrocutions, implementing animal-outage protective covers on power lines emerges as a viable solution. These covers act as insulating barriers, preventing direct contact between the primates and live electrical components. Here's how these protective measures can make a difference:

Organizations protecting monkeys against electrocutions

Our research for this blog about monkey electrocution has taken us to pages of organizations worldwide trying to put a stop to primate electrocution. Some of them are:

As we continue to encroach upon natural habitats, it is our responsibility to protect the diverse flora and fauna that share these spaces with us. Monkey electrocutions are avoidable, and by taking proactive measures to safeguard our primate relatives, we contribute to the delicate harmony of ecosystems and ensure a sustainable coexistence between humans and wildlife.

If you represent an utility, electrical assets distributor or an animal protection organization, you can get in touch with us to collaborate together (


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