by Steven Santana

Last February, a local animal sanctuary was devastated when it lost numerous monkeys, chimpanzees and lemurs to the freezing weather. This year the sanctuary is more prepared to protect its animals, but it can always use more help. 

Krystal Mathis, executive director for Primarily Primates, says the animal sanctuary will have numerous generators and staff on-site to help protect its 300 animals as an arctic air mass moves in on South Central Texas on Thursday night. 

Last year, the sanctuary lost an unknown number of chimpanzees, monkeys and lemurs after it lost power during Winter Storm Uri. Mathis, who took over as executive director in June 2021, says there are portable generators at every enclosure this year. 

She also says that new protocols are in place that tell staff which animals need to be locked in their enclosures based on varying temperatures.

Why varying temperatures?

“We have callitrichids, which are a type of really small monkey from Central and South America,” Mathis says. “And they can actually freeze to death in temperatures lower than 60.”

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