Hundreds of feral dogs that ran wild on Puerto Rico’s so-called ‘Dead Dog Beach’ tragically died in the powerful hurricane, unlike the macaques at nearby Monkey Island who all survived.
Before Hurricane Maria hit, the dogs famously roamed around a particular area on the southeastern part of the island in Yabucoa, after many of them were dumped by their owners who can no longer care for them.
Prior to the storm, New York native Christina Beckles created a nonprofit called The Sato Project where she and others worked to rescue the pups and get them adopted.
But Beckles, who flew to Puerto Rico immediately after the disaster that’s left 3.4 million people without electricity, essential services and drinking water to help her staff, learned that the dogs she worked tirelessly to help save had died.
Hundreds of feral dogs that ran wild on Puerto Rico’s so-called ‘Dead Dog Beach’ (file above) in Yabucoa did not survive the powerful hurricane. Before Hurricane Maria hit, the dogs famously roamed around a particular area in Yabucoa after many of them were dumped by their owners
Prior to the storm, New York native Christina Beckles (above) created a nonprofit called The Sato Project where she and others worked to rescue the pups and get them adopted. She flew to the island after the storm and tragically discovered ‘they did not survive’ it
‘Once the hugs and tears were over, the first thing we all wanted to do was go to the beach to look for our feral dogs,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Sadly, we did not find them and our hearts are heavy with the reality upon seeing the utter devastation at the beach — they did not survive.’
She then described the situation on the island to the New York Post as ‘a war zone’.
‘There is no power or water. We are under curfew from 6pm to 6am. Food is becoming scarce and people are getting desperate. Looting has already begun. The lines to get gas are seven to 10 hours long — to receive $10 worth of gas,’ she told the Post.
As Beckles deals with the tragedy, another team of people who care for Puerto Rico’s rhesus macaque monkeys are happy to report they miraculously survived the storm.
The tiny island of Cayo Santiago, that’s located off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, is home to around 1,000 rhesus macaque monkeys, The Atlantic reported.
The 38-acre island that is shaped like a lowercase r, is known as Monkey Island due to the primates being its only inhabitants.
As Beckles deals with the tragedy, another team of people who care for Puerto Rico’s rhesus macaque monkeys are happy to report that they miraculously survived the storm. The tiny island of Cayo Santiago is home to around 1,000 rhesus macaque monkeys (file above)
A team of researchers have returned to what’s called Monkey Island and found the primates alive (above earlier this week). They believe they were able to survive by finding places of shelter since they know the terrain and habitat really well
A team of researchers from New York University, University of Buffalo, University of Exeter, University of Michigan, University of Leipzig, University of Pennsylvania, University of Puerto Rico, University of Washington, and Yale University have charted nine generations of their births, deaths and group dynamics over the past 79 years.
The island where they live was destroyed, according to New York University’s Jim Highman, who is one of the researchers who has worked with the primates for years.
He tweeted out before and after satellite images showing how the island’s vegetation was wrecked by the storm.
‘The island is completely devastated,’ Higham told The Atlantic. ‘There’s a lot of damage to the vegetation and all the infrastructure is gone.
‘You look at the island and think: Oh my goodness, how could anything have survived this?
‘But the monkeys huddle. They hide. They’re creative. They find places of shelter and they know the terrain and habitat really well.’
The researchers have created a GoFundMe to collect money towards rescuing the primates.
New York University’s Jim Highman, who is one of the researchers that’s worked on the small island, said ‘there’s a lot of damage to the vegetation and all the infrastructure is gone.’ Above left is a satellite image before the storm and on the right is one taken after of Monkey Island
The researchers have created a GoFundMe to collect money towards rescuing the primates from the island and also to rebuild the infrastructure. Pictured above is the damage on Monkey Island
‘Researchers from a set of international universities are working together to save an invaluable scientific resource that was badly damaged in Hurricane Maria— a population of rhesus monkeys living on a remote island — and the staff and facilities that support them,’ the fundraiser page reads.
‘This fragile population somehow weathered this awful storm, but we need to act quickly to save them and the important scientific possibilities they represent.
‘Unless we immediately rebuild the infrastructure on the island as well as the lives of the people that support it, this important resource may disappear.
‘Funds raised here will help rebuild urgently needed infrastructure (e.g. rain water collectors) for the monkeys and will help ensure Cayo Santiago remains the active field site on which future scientific discoveries and the livelihood of the local community depend.’
The Rhesus macaques are usually found in Southeast Asia.
However, in 1938, 406 of the primates were shipped to the island for scientists to conduct research and are now among the best-studied group of monkeys on the planet.
The small 38-acre island of Cayo Santiago, known as Monkey Island, is located right off the coast of Puerto Rico. Dead Dog Beach is on the southeastern part of the island in Yabucoa