Over the weekend, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s rides, restaurants, and streets came to a screeching halt for several hours as the park suffered a massive power outage. And it was all thanks to one pesky visitor.
According to ABC Action News, the park’s lights went out after a little squirrel somehow made his way into the park’s substation breaker. Luckily, the outage started in the morning, before guests entered the park.
“Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is experiencing a power outage, today, May 12,” a tweet from the park read. “We are currently delaying entry into the park, and our ambassadors are working with TECO to restore power as soon as possible.”
Karen Varga-Sinka, a spokesperson for the park, told the Tampa Bay Times that power was restored to some parts of the park by 1:20 p.m. and then was fully restored about an hour later.
Because of the inconvenience, the park offered guests refund options, explaining in a statement that anyone who needs a refund can “go to a ticket window if they are in the park or email BGA.firstname.lastname@example.org."
While an odd story for sure, it shouldn’t really be that surprising considering squirrels have long been wreaking havoc on the United States electrical grid. According to The Washington Post, the American Public Power Association even tracks outages caused by the critters on a “squirrel index.” As it further reported, while storms cause longer and larger outages across the nation, squirrels are actually responsible for far more outages than weather. (You too can track global squirrel outages here.)
And though the outage at Busch Gardens was certainly a pain for guests, people still couldn’t help but have a little fun at the park’s expense on social media.
Sure, it’s funny, but as several Twitter users also asked, is the squirrel OK? Busch Gardens, the people of the internet need answers.