More than 60 endangered penguins found dead; bees believed to be responsible

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More than 60 deceased endangered penguins were found inside the Boulders African penguin colony in Simonstown, South Africa. The tragic discovery was made on the morning of Friday, September 17, and the deaths are presumed to have happened at some point between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

SANParks – Table Mountain National Park has stated that a team of experts is investigating the situation, but preliminarily, the deaths appear to be the result of the penguins encounter with a swarm of Cape honey bees. The release states:

The post-mortems revealed that all the penguins had multiple bee stings, and many dead bees were found at the site where the birds had died. Therefore preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died because of being stung by a swarm of Cape honey bees. A dead penguin was also found on Fish Hoek beach yesterday which the SANCCOB vet has confirmed also had multiple bee stings.

Though bees appear to be responsible for the deaths, further testing is being done to rule out disease, or poisoning.

(African penguins image via Pixabay)

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