The extreme heat in Mexico is causing howler monkeys to fall dead from the trees

The scorching heat in Mexico has reached such extreme levels that it is causing howler monkeys to drop lifelessly from the trees.

According to the Biodiversity Conservation of The Usumacinta group, a total of 138 midsize primates, renowned for their powerful roaring vocal calls, have been discovered dead in the state of Tabasco on the Gulf Coast since May 16. Fortunately, some of these primates were saved by local residents, with five of them being urgently taken to a nearby veterinarian for immediate medical attention. The veterinarian put in great efforts to try and save these rescued primates.

Dr. Sergio Valenzuela described the patients as arriving in critical condition, exhibiting signs of dehydration and fever. He emphasized their weakened state, comparing them to limp rags, and attributed their condition to heatstroke.

Mexico’s scorching heat wave has been attributed to the deaths of at least 26 individuals since March. However, veterinarians and rescuers believe that this extreme weather may have also taken the lives of dozens, and possibly even hundreds, of howler monkeys. On Tuesday, approximately one-third of the country experienced soaring temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

Howler monkeys, though often regarded as intimidating, possess a formidable stature. Standing as tall as 90 centimeters (3 feet) and boasting tails of equal length, these primates are quite impressive. Certain male individuals can weigh over 13.5 kilograms (30 pounds) and have a lifespan of up to 20 years. Despite their muscular build and menacing jaws with sharp teeth and fangs, it is their powerful roars that truly define them, reminiscent of those emitted by lions, defying their modest size.

Read More:  South Carolina claims "painless" death is not required and wants to reinstate the firing squad and the electric chair.

Valenzuela recalled that the volunteers approached him for assistance. They requested that he examine the animals they had in their truck, expressing their lack of funds and asking if he could provide the service free of charge.

The veterinarian applied ice to their tiny hands and feet, and connected them to intravenous drips containing electrolytes.

The monkeys are showing signs of improvement. Previously lethargic and easily handled, they are now confined to cages at Valenzuela’s office. He noted that they are becoming more aggressive and are biting again, which is a positive indication of their recovery.

According to wildlife biologist Gilberto Pozo, approximately 138 of the animals were found dead or dying on the ground under trees. The die-off began on May 5 and reached its highest point during the weekend.

Pozo explains that the deaths of the monkeys can be attributed to a combination of various factors working together. These factors include extreme heat, drought, forest fires, and logging activities. The monkeys suffer from a lack of water, shade, and the fruit they rely on as a result of logging. However, it is important to note that the possibility of a pathogen, disease, or another factor cannot be completely dismissed at this point.

In the state of Tabasco, known for its steamy, swampy, and jungle-covered landscapes, the howler monkey holds a special place in the hearts of the locals. Considered a cherished and emblematic species, these monkeys have a unique role in the lives of the people here. According to the locals, the howler monkeys serve as timekeepers, signaling the start and end of each day with their distinctive howls at dawn and dusk.

Read More:  Pregnant lawmaker admits decision to have abortion for nonviable fetus

According to Pozo, the community members he is acquainted with through his involvement with the Biodiversity Conservation of The Usumacinta group have made efforts to assist the monkeys they encounter near their farms. However, he cautions that this assistance could potentially have unintended consequences.

“They fell out of the trees, and the people were moved to action, rushing to assist the animals by providing water and fruit,” Pozo explained. “Their genuine concern led them to care for the animals, especially the baby monkeys, with a desire to adopt them.”

According to him, babies are extremely fragile and cannot be exposed to dogs or cats in their household. This is due to the fact that these animals carry pathogens that can be potentially fatal for howler monkeys. He emphasized the importance of rehabilitating and releasing them into their natural habitat.

Pozo’s team has established dedicated recovery stations for monkeys, currently housing five of them. However, other animals such as birds and reptiles have also been impacted. They are actively working towards assembling a team of specialized veterinarians who can provide the necessary care and attention to these primates.

The federal government finally recognized the issue on Monday, after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador became aware of it through social media. He commended Valenzuela for his efforts and expressed the government’s intention to provide support for his work.

López Obrador admitted that the issue with the heat was quite severe, stating, “I have never experienced it this intensely before.” However, he also has a multitude of other challenges that he needs to address, which are more related to human issues.

Read More:  NYC rejects couple's plea to pay for car that was totaled during NYPD pursuit

At least nine cities in Mexico have already broken temperature records as of May 9. Ciudad Victoria, located in the border state of Tamaulipas, reached a scorching 47°C (117°F).

The country has been experiencing a significant decrease in rainfall this year, resulting in below-average levels of precipitation. As a result, lakes and dams are drying up, and the available water supplies are rapidly depleting. The authorities have been forced to transport water to various locations, including hospitals and fire-fighting teams. Furthermore, the low water levels at hydroelectric dams have caused power blackouts in certain areas of the country.

Consumers are also experiencing the impact of the heat. In response to the soaring temperatures, OXXO convenience stores, the largest nationwide chain, announced on Monday that they would be implementing restrictions on ice purchases. In certain locations, customers will only be allowed to buy two or three bags of ice.

During a period of elevated temperatures, OXXO is implementing measures to guarantee an adequate supply of products for our valued customers. In a statement, parent company FEMSA expressed, “The restrictions on the sale of bagged ice are aimed at ensuring that a greater number of customers are able to purchase this essential product.”

According to Pozo, the significance of this species lies in its role as a sentinel. Similar to the canary in a coal mine analogy, it provides valuable insights into the state of an ecosystem. Pozo emphasizes that the species is conveying important information about the impact of climate change.

Read More:

Leave a Comment