In Mexico it is so hot that howler monkeys fall from the trees

In Mexico it is so hot that howler monkeys fall from the trees

Mexico’s persistent heat and drought are leading to deaths among howler monkeys. In the southern forest, residents find animals falling from trees as temperatures rise to more than 45 degrees. In the extremely hot state of Tabasco alone, 83 wild specimens of small primate species have been found dead since the beginning of this month.

Veterinarian Sergio Valenzuela has treated several monkeys weakened by dehydration and heat stress at his local clinic. “We put ice on their palms and feet,” he told the AP. Animals in more severe condition were given fluid infusion.

He says his patients recovered quickly. At first they were careless and easy to handle, but now they continue to strengthen in cages. Valenzuela: “They’re biting again.”

The howler monkey – known for its long, deep howl that makes it appear much larger than the 60cm height it can reach – is one of the beloved inhabitants of the Mexican jungle. Local residents take care of the animals, and young ones in particular are adopted as pets.

Local biologist Gilberto Pozo advises against the latter: “Young children are particularly vulnerable and cannot stay in a house where cats or dogs also live,” because they could carry diseases that are fatal to them. He urges that the monkeys be released back into the forest once they recover.

Ice cubes on servings

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, himself from Tabasco, acknowledged Monday that heat is killing howler monkeys, and promised to provide assistance to the Valenzuela clinic. The president, who proudly visited all Mexican municipalities during his three presidential campaigns, also described the heat as unprecedented: “I’ve never felt this much heat before.”

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Earlier this month, a new temperature record was set in the northern state of Tamaulipas: in Ciudad Victoria it reached 47.4 degrees. Persistent drought due to lack of rainfall also causes problems. As the reservoirs dry up, less electricity is generated and power outages occur more often. At Oxxo, a national chain of convenience stores, customers in some locations are still allowed to purchase a maximum of two or three bags of ice cubes. (AP)

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