More than 60 endangered African penguins were recently found dead, all with multiple bee stings and no other external injuries, according to officials in a coastal city in South Africa where the birds regularly migrate.
Sixty-three dead African penguins were found Friday at the Boulders Penguin Colony, in Simon’s Town, about 25 miles south of Cape Town, in the southwest of the country.
All the penguins had multiple bee stings, and “many dead bees were found at the site where the birds had died,” according to a statement from the South African National Parks.
“Therefore preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died because of being stung by a swarm of Cape honey bees.”No external physical injuries were observed on any of the dead penguins, the statement said.
The bees found near the dead birds are native to the area, “usually coexist with wildlife” and “don’t sting unless provoked,” according to Dr. Alison Kock, a marine biologist at the South African National Parks.
”, Alison Kock
South African National Parks
South Africa, Simon’s Town, Cape Town