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Tree frog causes Kissimmee power outage

800 customers lose power for more than hour

Cuban tree frog. File photo.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Hundreds of customers lost power early Friday when a Cuban tree frog climbed a utility pole outside a Kissimmee Utility Authority substation and came in contact with high-voltage electrical equipment.

KUA said the incident occurred at 4:04 a.m., knocking out power to 807 customers in the Mill Run area of the city. Power was restored at 5:25 a.m.

The frog did not survive.

Officials said Cuban tree frogs typically sleep above ground during the day and forage for insects around sources of artificial light at night.

"They will eat anything they can overpower and fit into their mouths, including snails, spiders, insects, other frogs (even other Cuban tree frogs), snakes, lizards, small crustaceans, and hatchling birds in their nests," KUA said in a news release. "Their foraging will occasionally take them up utility poles, where they can cause short-circuits of utility switches, causing power outages."

The invasive species is the largest tree frog in North America and can grow in excess of 6 inches in length.

KUA  is Florida's sixth largest community-owned utility, powering 74,000 customers in Osceola County.

 


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