• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
businessday logo


Monkeys fall dead from trees in Mexico amid blistering heatwave

Monkeys fall dead from trees in Mexico amid blistering heatwave

Monkeys are falling from trees in Mexico amid a blistering heatwave sweeping across the country.

At least 138 of the midsize primates have been discovered dead in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco since May 16, according to Biodiversity Conservation of The Usumacinta group.

It comes as Tabasco has been hit with temperatures of 40C, and as around a third of the country saw temperatures rise to 45C on Tuesday. For howler monkeys, known for their intimidating roaring calls, the heat has resulted in many falling from trees dead.

Others have had to be rescued by residents and rushed to local veterinarians.

The issue was flagged on Friday when a local volunteer fire-and-rescue squad showed up with five of the creatures in the bed of a truck.

A veterinarian put ice on their limp hands and feet, and had them hooked to IV drips with electrolytes.

“They arrived in critical condition, with dehydration and fever,” said Dr Sergio Valenzuela. “They were as limp as rags. It was heatstroke.”

While Mexico’s brutal heatwave has been linked to the deaths of at least 26 people since March, veterinarians and rescuers believe it has killed dozens and perhaps hundreds of howler monkeys.

Wildlife biologist Gilberto Pozo, who counted monkeys some 138 monkeys that fell from trees, said: “They were falling out of the trees like apples. They were in a state of severe dehydration, and they died within a matter of minutes.”

He added that the monkeys had fallen from dozens of yards up, inflicting damage enough to kill them, but attributed the deaths to a “synergy” of factors, including high heat, drought, forest fires and logging.

Mr Pozo’s group has set up a special recovery stations for monkeys, and birds and reptiles which have also been affected.