Texas Volunteers Save Hundreds of Animals at Sanctuary Where Primates Froze to Death

A Texas animal sanctuary that lost a number of primates in last week's winter storm has thanked volunteers and staff members who helped save the lives of hundreds of others.

Primarily Primates in Leon Springs reported that several monkeys, lemurs, a chimpanzee and numerous birds had died after its power went out during the freezing weather that crippled the state.

The sanctuary was without power for four days and pleaded for help from the public to rescue the animals that remained.

As the freeze continued, many of the animals were moved to other shelters that still had power. Some volunteers even took them into their own homes.

One volunteer received particular praise from the sanctuary after agreeing to house more than 60 animals.

Primarily Primates said longtime supporter Andy Cockrum was "instrumental" in keeping the animals safe and making sure they stayed warm and received proper nutrition.

The sanctuary added that hundreds of animals evacuated from their enclosures had been returned and the chimpanzees and baboons were safely back to their habitats.

"We witnessed our staff and the local community at their best during this crisis," Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, which manages the sanctuary, told Newsweek.

"We are profoundly grateful to the community inside and outside of Texas who provided us with an abundance of help last week. The support immediately delivered much-needed heat, nutritious food and clean water to the animals and birds who live at our beautiful, 78-acre sanctuary and ensured their safety. We hope everyone continues their relationship with us in some capacity."

Feral also praised a staff member who was supposed to be off work last week to prepare for her wedding on Saturday, but instead stayed on site to provide round-the-clock care until just before her big day.

Elsewhere, San Antonio resident Hunter Madsen described how he organized a meet-up at a local convenience store after seeing the sanctuary's call for help on Facebook.

Madsen offered to deliver supplies in his four-wheel-drive truck for those who couldn't drive on the icy roads.

"When I pulled into the parking lot of the Quik Trip convenience store I had no idea who anyone was, but people from all over San Antonio were bringing blankets, food, gas and other supplies in such a short amount of notice. It was definitely an overwhelming feeling of amazement and joy," he said.

Primary Primates is still welcoming volunteers to assist with activities such as property maintenance, fundraising and chopping food for the animals.

The sanctuary is also seeking donations for food items such as bananas and cucumbers, trash bags, paper towels and other cleaning supplies.

Correction 2/25/21: This article originally stated the sanctuary is still not open to the public in wake of the storm. In fact the public has never been allowed to go to Primary Primates to visit the animals.

Primarily Primates
A number of animals died at the Primarily Primates sanctuary in Leon Springs, Texas, after the power went out in freezing weather. Friends of Animals