Chimpanzee and several monkeys and lemurs die at Texas sanctuary after winter blast cuts power

About a dozen primates died at a Texas animal sanctuary after this week’s deadly winter blast left the facility with no heat or power.

Primarily Primates said in a statement Wednesday that “approximately” 12 animals, including monkeys, lemurs and a chimpanzee, died at the San Antonio-based nonprofit, which hasn’t had power since early Monday.

“Every animal matters to us and we are devastated,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, which has managed the sanctuary since 2007.

Among the deceased animals was 58-year-old Violet, who was Primarily Primates’ oldest chimp. She likely died of a stroke rather than hypothermia, according to the sanctuary.

The nonprofit said staff and volunteers have been evacuating dozens of animals from the 78-acre sanctuary and using heat generators to keep the remaining animals safe. As of Wednesday, the remaining chimpanzees were doing well and keeping warm with properly ventilated propane heaters, the sanctuary said. However, it is still without power and is taking monetary donations or items such as gasoline, jugs of water and more generators.

The sanctuary looks after hundreds of animals, mostly primates. It lost power after a deep freeze forced the state’s power grid to impose rotating blackouts because of higher demand.

The number of homes and businesses in Texas without electricity fell to fewer than 490,000 by Thursday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us. At least 11 people have died in Texas from this week’s weather.

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