(ORDO NEWS) — On a beach just outside Cape Town, 63 African penguins were found dead. Presumably, the cause of death was a swarm of bees. It is worth noting that this species is endangered, so the incident attracted the attention of specialists.
The suspected murder bees live only in South Africa and are considered a very important part of the local ecological system. Reported by the South African Coastal Bird Conservation Fund.
David Roberts said that he and his colleagues carefully examined the bodies of the penguins. They found a huge number of bee stings that settled around the eyes of the animals.
This is extremely rare. The specialist noted that, most likely, this is just an accident and in the future nothing like this will happen again. He also added that dead bees were also found at the scene.
The protected birds were sighted on 17 September. They belonged to a colony that lived in Simonstown, near Cape Town. This area is a national park and therefore the honeybees that live in it play an important role in the development of the local ecosystem.
It was also stated that the birds were immediately taken to the fund in order to carry out an autopsy. The obtained samples were additionally checked for the presence of various kinds of diseases and toxicology.
The study showed that the penguins did not have external injuries and did not suffer from any specific diseases. Moreover, they all had traces of bee stings.
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