Primarily Primates,a non-profit sanctuary in Bexar County, Texas,that provides lifetime care for hundreds of animals including 32 chimpanzees, is among millions without power in the state after an Arctic blast created blackouts due to frozen power lines, natural gas production freezing under pressure, pipes bursting, and increased demand for power.
Sadly, the sanctuary has been without power since early Monday morning. While the staff and volunteers work tirelessly around the clock to evacuate dozens of animals from the 78-acre sanctuary and use heaters and generators to keep the remaining animals warm, they are also mourning the loss of approximately 12 animals, including monkeys and lemurs.
Tragically, 58-year-old Violet, Primarily Primates’ oldest chimp, also passed away, but it was determined that she did not die from hypothermia but most-likely a stroke. While Violet, who was formerly used in biomedical research, had pre-existing conditions, it is reasonable to conclude that the extreme cold may have contributed to her having the fatal stroke.
“Every animal matters to us and we are devastated,” Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals, which has managed the sanctuary since 2007, said in a statement. “We know this unprecedented Arctic blast is taking a toll on humans, which is why we are so grateful to the San Antonio Zoo staff for helping us transport and care for animals, as well as the more than 60 volunteers who have organized meetups and driven their 4x4s in treacherous conditions to bring us supplies. Their kindness brings some comfort during this nightmare. They are heroes, and so are our staff members.”
Primarily Primates’ Executive Director Brooke Chavez reports that currently all of the chimpanzees and other primates that remain on the property are doing well and keeping warm with properly ventilated propane heaters. Staff members check on them every 20 minutes around the clock.
As previously reported by WAN, Primarily Primates agreed to take eight of the chimps from the now-closed Wildlife Waystationin California, providing that they have the financing needed to expand their facilities to accommodate them. Three of the chimps have already been transferred while the remaining five are still waiting to be moved.
Primarily Primates is still currently without power and in need of the following items, as well as monetary donations. If you have any of the requested supplies below and have a four-wheel drive vehicle, please deliver them to 26099 Dull Knife Trail in San Antonio.
– GENERATORS- this is the most important item on the list!
– Peanut butter, bread, jelly
– Camping lights
– Propane tanks that are filled or help taking empty tanks to be filled
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