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Animal Casualties Of Polar Vortex


The 2021 weather phenomenon known as a Polar Vortex killed over 23 people and countless animals froze to death in the southwestern United States.


March 9, 2021 |

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, SAAB Member


Only the Polar Bears were prepared for the deep freeze that swept through the southern United States in February 2021.



Better-warned, we humans might have been better-prepared when the Polar Vortex hit the U.S. It is unclear whether weather forecasters didn’t foresee what could happen, whether they wanted to avoid widespread panic, or they warned Americans and we didn’t listen. As unusual as a polar vortex is, it has surprised us before…


Back in the winter of 1952 weather experts were blind-sided by the polar blast that hit America. Fluctuations in the Arctic jet stream brought record low temperatures again in January 2014, introducing people to the phrase "polar vortex." Then in 2019 another polar storm hit Canada and kept going south into the American Midwest where it killed over 20 people and countless animals.



Unlike the bears, birds and sea mammals that live in the polar regions and have adapted to winter’s blast of 40° below temperatures, we humans move around so much that nature/evolution can’t keep up with us.


As of March 8, 2021 there is no official death toll from this polar blast. Wikipedia lists 2021 Polar Vortex casualties as “at least 82 killed” but is confounded at the media’s apparent inability to release a final death toll.


To a long-time news hound, that smells like a clamp-down. I called other professional reporters and all concluded we are not meant to know… What we do know is that off-duty doctors and nurses beat the blast to get to hospitals and stand ready. Heroes all!


12 animals died at Primarily Primates sanctuary in San Antonio even though workers went to heroic measures to keep them warm. They wrapped monkeys in blankets and used generators to run space heaters but no such measures could overcome genetics. Apes and the little monkeys are programmed to live in warm moist climates and San Antonio was perfect until the catastrophic “Polar Vortex 2021” reached its icy grip into Texas.



Primates huddled together for warmth. There was little that could be done for them as keepers are not allowed to handle primates unless they are anesthetized and sedation would have put them at much greater risk. CNN reports “A chimpanzee, many monkeys, some lemurs and countless birds” froze to death in their circular exhibition cages scattered throughout the Texas sanctuary.


Zoo keepers and wildlife sanctuaries did all they could do on short notice as the Polar Vortex whipped through the southwest. African Wild Dogs or “Painted Dogs” as they are sometimes called, are genetically programmed for high temperature environments and like the monkeys and gorillas, the wild canines suffered horribly.



All across America animals suffered from the polar blast. Milk prices increased while beef prices dropped. It doesn’t take much imagination to know why. Dairy farmers tried to protect their cows but the milking barns are not usually heated. Watering troughs froze. Ranchers and dog breeders in southern states have no freeze-proof shelter for large numbers of large animals.


One couple brought a horse into their house and millions huddled with their animals to keep warm. Like dogs, most animals have body temperatures of 100 degrees or more.



What is going on? We’re told global warming is the threat… So why are most media outlets reporting the deep freeze as though it was just a “weather event”? Experts now say “… this polar vortex is stronger and longer than usual, and these events are happening twice as often as they used to.USA News Feb. 16, 2021{Ref #1} revealed “The January 2021 event pushed the polar vortex from its normal position over the North Pole all the way over to Europe and Siberia…”


Why weren’t we better prepared? is told that winds which circle around the Arctic weakened in early 2021 allowing frigid northern air to spill south. Our staff poured over weather data and while “colder air” was “mentioned” there was apparently to way to PREDICT the deadly damage that was on the way in February 2021. It does seem that we could have/should have been warned…


Americans are resourceful and brave. If “global warming” advances as predicted, we will cope with it and animal owners will do everything possible to protect our pets and livestock.


Reference Information {#1} USA News, Feb. 16, 2021

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