Howler monkeys drop dead from the trees as heatwave rages in Mexico | World News

In response to scorching temperatures in Mexico, numerous howler monkeys have suffered fatal heat exposure.

An alarming count of 83 howler monkeys, recognized for their distinct vocalizations, have been discovered deceased in Tabasco, a Mexican state along the Gulf coast, as temperatures are predicted to climb above 45C.

Some monkeys were saved by locals, including five which were urgently transported to a vet in an attempt to preserve their lives.

“Arriving in a state of emergency, they were experiencing severe dehydration and fever,” noted Dr. Sergio Valenzuela.

“Their bodies were completely limp. They had succumbed to heatstroke.”

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A soldier disposes of a deceased howler monkey. Image: AP

An ongoing drought combined with heatwaves have driven up temperatures countrywide.

Over the past weekend, the Civil Protection agency of Tabasco state suggested the deaths were due to dehydration.

Agency representatives confirmed fatalities in three of the state’s municipalities.

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Dozens of howler monkeys were found dead in the Gulf coast state while others were rescued by residents who rushed them to a local veterinarian. (AP Photo/Luis Sanchez)
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A veterinarian nourishes a rescued young howler monkey during the heatwave. Image: AP

In a woodland near Camalcalco, Tabasco, volunteers collected the remains of mantle howler monkeys fallen victim to the heat and provided water and fruit in efforts to prevent further losses.

These primates are currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

“The severity of the heat is unprecedented. Having frequently visited these states, I’ve never encountered such intense heat,” stated Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s President, originally from Tabasco, in a briefing following inquiries about the monkey fatalities.

“Indeed, the animals’ welfare is paramount, and we will take appropriate action,” he affirmed during his routine press conference.

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Dozens of howler monkeys were found dead in the Gulf coast state while others were rescued by residents who rushed them to a local veterinarian. (AP Photo/Luis Sanchez)
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Image: AP

Later on Monday, Mexico’s environmental department announced coordinated efforts to investigate the monkey deaths, citing various potential causes including “heat stroke, dehydration, malnutrition, or exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals.”

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Preliminary statistics from Mexico’s health authority records 26 heat-associated fatalities from the onset of the country’s heatwave season on March 17 until May 11.

By May 9, at least nine cities in Mexico had broken temperature records, with Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas topping at a scorching 47C.

Presently, Mexico is experiencing lower than average rainfall, causing lakes and reservoirs to deplete. Consequentially, there is a shortage in water resources, prompting the necessity for water transport to support critical services such as hospitals and firefighting units.

Howler monkeys sit in a cage at a veterinarian clinic after they were rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Dozens of howler monkeys were found dead in the Gulf coast state while others were rescued by residents who rushed them to a local veterinarian. (AP Photo/Luis Sanchez)
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Image: AP

Reduced water levels at hydroelectric facilities have contributed to occasional power outages in some regions of the country.

Wildlife biologist Gilberto Pozo reported the finding of roughly 83 monkeys either deceased or in critical condition due to the extreme heat, labeling them as an indicator species, a significant measure of environmental health and the broader impacts of climate change.

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