63 Penguins Die Attacked by Bees in South Africa

A team of veterinarians in South Africa concluded that the sudden death of 63 penguins on Boulders beach, near Simonstow, last week was caused by a bee attack.

The death of the group of penguins occurred suddenly between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning last week. Initial investigations suggest the animals died from being stung by Cape honeybees.

There were no visible physical injuries on the outside of the penguins.

Examination of the carcasses by the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) showed that all the penguins had traces of bee attack. In addition, other evidence shows that many dead bees were found in the same location where the penguins died.

“We suspect basically just bad luck that happened to the penguins. We don’t expect (this incident) to happen again, because (if it happens again) the bees will start to become a threat to the penguins,” said SANCCOB Research Manager Katta Ludyia on Monday ( 20/9).

A penguin was also found dead on Fish Hoek beach on Sunday (19/9). SANCCOB veterinarians confirmed there were also multiple bee stings on the bird. However, samples are still being tested for possible toxicity and other diseases to rule out other possible causes.(ka/ps)

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