Sixty-three African penguins, classified as endangered and lying dead on the beach near Cape Town, were killed by a bee bite, we learned Sunday from the SanCope Foundation for the Protection of Coastal Birds.
“The birds were stung by bees,” Dr David Roberts, the base’s veterinarian, told AFP.
The penguin was found Friday at a beach in Simon Town, about forty miles from Cayman Town. The expert said the bite was found specifically around the eyes and dead bees were found on the beach.
Other tests were performed to diagnose the disease or toxins and autopsies.
Mr Roberts lamented a “rare and unusual” fact that affects endangered species, but in an area that is a national park, “bees are part of the ecosystem,” he said.
South Africa is the largest penguin colony in the world.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the African penguin is endangered. Only about 13,000 couples were registered worldwide in 2019, mainly in South Africa and neighboring Namibia.
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