More than sixty penguins have died on the beach in Simonstad near Cape Town, South Africa. The birds were stung by bees.
63 dead African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) were found in Simonstad near Cape Town in the morning of Friday 17 September. An initial postmortem examination revealed that the birds had traces of bee stings. Scientists also found dead bees on the shore.
South Africa. Penguins fatally stung by bees
Dr. Katta Ludynia, research director at the seabirds of the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), called the incident “an extremely strange accident” in an interview with the Reuters Agency.
– It is very unlikely, unusual and obviously dramatic to lose such a number of birds – said Ludynia. “We have so few of these birds in the wild that a healthy population could easily deal with such a strange accident. But since so few of these birds remain in the wild, we are basically trying to save each of them, the loss of that number is obviously terrible, she added.
African penguins, according to the classification conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are considered an endangered species.
There is a national park in the Simonstad area. Bees of the species Apis mellifera capensis are part of its ecosystem.
Main photo source: Reuters / SANCCOB