Bee Swarm Kills 63 Endangered African Penguins on a Beach in South Africa

In an unusual event, a bee swarm killed 63 endangered African penguins on a beach outside Cape Town. The African Penguin also commonly known as Cape penguin is a species only to be seen in South Africa. Their number is decreasing gradually making it an endangered species.

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) revealed the unfortunate incident. According to David Roberts, a clinical veterinarian, bee stings were found around penguins’ eyes. Some motionless bees were also spotted on the scene.

Bee Swarm Kills 63 Endangered African Penguins on South African Beach

A bee swarm kills 63 endangered African penguins on a beach outside Cape Town in an unusual event  | Image: Unsplash/Casey Allen

Cape Town’s honey bees are assumed to be accountable for the penguins’ deaths. The insects are a part of the South African National Parks (SANParks) ecosystem where the birds live.

Dr. Roberts said that penguins’ deaths are a looming danger and it should not happen as the protected species is already threatened with extinction.

SANParks mentioned that the birds were taken to the foundation for post-mortems and samples sent for disease and toxicology testing. No external wounds were found on the birds. The post-mortems confirmed that the penguins had multiple bee stings.

Our rangers and SANParks will monitor the nests in the area as some of these birds would have had eggs and chicks. One partner often can’t supply sufficient food or leave the chicks alone..

The organization said in a statement on its social media.

Also Read: Emperor Penguins to be Listed as Endangered Species in IUCN Amid Climate Crisis

The organization said the number of penguins is declining rapidly and the species might be extinct by 2035.

African penguins are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which means they are at the brink of extinction.

Via: ABC Net

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