A swarm of bees has killed 63 endangered African penguins on a beach outside Cape Town.
Penguins were found dead on the beach in Boulders, a popular tourist destination south of Cape Town.
They were part of a colony of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) living in a nature reserve, which are considered endangered, according to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The area is a national park and the honey bees in the Cape are part of the ecosystem.
“After the tests, we found bee stings around the penguins’ eyes,” said David Roberts, a veterinarian.
“This is a very rare occurrence. We do not expect it to happen often, it is a disaster. There were also dead bees at the scene. ”
The South African National Parks said the penguins had numerous bee stings.
Some were found with 20 or more bee stings, said SanParks Nature Conservation Authority spokeswoman Lauren Howard-Clayton.
Subsequent tests for toxins or pathogens were not final.
Authorities are now looking for the hive to find out what may have caused the bee attack, Howard-Clayton said.
Penguins, also known as Cape, black-legged penguins or jackets, breed in South Africa and neighboring Namibia.
In the last three decades, the number of penguins living in South Africa has dropped by 73 percent to 10,400 pairs, according to the South Africa Coastal Bird Conservation Foundation.
In Namibia, there are still 4,300 pairs of penguins.
To be part of the group »AOL“just click: Join Group and your request will be approved immediately.