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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The incident took place on a beach outside Cape Town
  • A swarm of bees claimed the lives of 63 endangered African penguins
  • The postmortem reports found bee stings around the penguins’ eyes

In an unpleasant incident reported from South Africa, the netizens have been left in a state of shock. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds reported that a swarm of bees claimed the lives of 63 endangered African penguins. The incident took place on a beach outside Cape Town.

Talking to the media, the clinical veterinarian of the foundation, David Roberts mentioned the tests conducted on the dead penguins. Robert cited that the team found bee stings around the penguins’ eyes. Reportedly, there were dead bees found on the spot. “This is a very rare occurrence. We do not expect it to happen often, it’s a fluke,” he added.

The protected birds were found dead in Simon’s Town, a small town near Cape Town. The area is a national park and the Cape honey bees are part of the ecosystem. Speaking further, Robert said, “The penguins are already in danger of extinction. They are a protected species.”

According to the postmortem reports, all the penguins had multiple bee stings, and no external injuries were found on any of the birds. The samples have also been sent for disease and toxicology.

The African penguins which inhabit the coast and islands of southern Africa are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list, meaning they face a high risk of extinction.

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