May 18, 2006

Raccoon survives massive electric shock

NICOSIA (Reuters) - A raccoon suffered an 11,000 volt electric shock when it scampered up a pylon in Cyprus but escaped with burns.

The nocturnal mammal triggered a two hour power outage at the town of Aradippou in southeast Cyprus after it scaled the pylon. It was eventually captured with a net and has been impounded by vets as an illegal import.

"It suffered some burns which we treated and is now recovering ... it certainly has the will to live," Charalambos Kakoyiannis of the island's veterinary department said on Thursday.

Raccoons, a native of the Americas, were introduced to Europe last century but are alien to Cyprus and authorities said the animal, whose owner was unknown, was smuggled onto the island.