Bird conservationists said that a swarm of bees stung 63 endangered African penguins to death near Cape Town on Monday, September 20.
BBC reported that the bird colony from Simonstown was located on the shore with multiple bee stings and has not found other physical injuries. A necropsy found that the penguins had been stung around the eyes, and dead bees were located at the scene.
South Africa’s national parks (SANParks) agency marine biologist Dr. Alison Kock said that penguins and bees usually coexist, however, bees don’t attack unless they are triggered. It was to be assumed that the beehives were disturbed, which caused the bees to defensively swarm potential attackers.
SANParks said that it will continue to observe the situation and that toxicity and disease check-ups for the birds are currently underway.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has put African penguins on its red list, which means their species are hugely decreasing in number.
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