SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Primarily Primates, a non-profit sanctuary in Bexar County, Texas that provides lifetime care for hundreds of animals—mostly primates, including 32 chimpanzees—is among the four million without power in Texas after a rare deep freeze forced the state’s electric grid operator to impose rotating blackouts because of higher power demand. The sanctuary has been without power since Monday morning.

While staff and volunteers work tirelessly around the clock to evacuate dozens of animals from the 78-acre sanctuary and use heaters and generators to keep the remaining animals safe—they are also mourning the loss of approximately 12 animals, including monkeys, lemurs and one chimpanzee.

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

“We know this unprecedented Arctic blast is taking a toll on humans, which is why we are so grateful to the San Antonio Zoo staff for helping us transport and care for animals as well as the more than 60 volunteers who organized meetups and drove their 4x4s in treacherous conditions to bring us supplies. Their kindness brings some comfort during this nightmare. They are heroes, and so are our staff members.”

Primarily Primates’ Executive Director Brooke Chavez reports that currently all the chimpanzees are doing well and are keeping warm with properly ventilated propane heaters. Staff checks on them every 20 minutes around the clock. All other primates on the property are comfortable and being provided with heat with the use of generators and heaters.

Violet, 58, was Primarily Primates’ oldest chimp, but she certainly did not act like it despite her pre-existing conditions. She did not die from hypothermia but most likely to a stroke.

She was young at heart, outgoing and spirited. She loved to explore her habitat, which sits up on a hill overlooking the pond at Primarily Primates, where she had a great view of waterfowl and other wildlife. Violet, who was used in biomedical research, also liked watching movies and looking at her reflection in her care staff member’s iPhone selfie mode.

The sanctuary is still without power and in need of the following items as well as monetary donations. They can be dropped off at 26099 Dull Knife Trail in San Antonio.

– Peanut butter, bread, jelly
– Camping lights
– Filled propane tanks
– Small disposable propane heater bottles

Donate at

Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in New York in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, CT, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world.

Priscilla Feral, president, Friends of Animals; [email protected]

SOURCE Friends of Animals, Inc.

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