A swarm of honey bees killed more than 60 penguins on a South African beach – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-09-22 13:39:26 –


“This is a completely abnormal accident.”

Cape Penguins on the beach of Betty’s Bay, a South African resort town, November 13, 2017. Joao Silva / , File

The murderers scattered dozens of bodies on the beaches of South Africa and disappeared, leaving behind a slaughter and a mystery.

The culprit was unknown until experts scrutinized 63 African penguins found dead on Boulders Beach near Cape Town on Friday morning and found a puncture wound in their eyes. The veterinarian returned to the scene and found something that escaped the investigator’s eyes on the first pass. More bodies were scattered on the ground. This time it’s a smaller corpse.

Bees. Whodunit has been resolved.

The penguins died suddenly between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, According to a statement from South Africa National Park.. Veterinarians, penguins experts, and government officials gathered to investigate and found no obvious injuries. The carcasses of African penguins were so named because they are the only species of penguins that breed on the continent and were taken to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds for post-mortem inspection.

Penguins were stabbed around their eyes, flippers, and areas not protected by feathers, National Park Service marine biologist Alison Kock wrote in a statement to the Washington Post.

“The feathers on the penguins’ body are dense and it is unlikely that a bee sting would have penetrated these feathers,” she writes. “On the other hand, the skin and flippers around the eyes have no feathers, and puncture wounds can penetrate these areas.”

Katta Rudinia, research manager at the Conservation Foundation, said she had never seen bees attack African penguins and other penguins. She characterized the slaughter as an unprecedented “penguin misfortune.”

“This is a completely abnormal accident.” She told NBC News Now..

As part of the post-mortem examination, scientists took samples from the penguins’ bodies for illness and toxicology testing. It was still being tested on Saturday when the National Park Service sent a news release, but authorities believed that the bee nest was disturbed and “a large number of bees fled the nest and became swarming, defensive and aggressive.” It states that there is. The cook wrote in her email.

“Unfortunately, the bees encountered a group of penguins on the flight path,” she added.

Conservation Foundation Rangers Monitor Penguins ColoniesKeep an eye out for the nests that dead birds might have had. If they find something, the ranger rescues the eggs and chicks so they can be raised by hand. This is what the Foundation does on a daily basis.

Conservation Foundation clinical veterinarian David Roberts said post-test results confirmed that penguins were free of bird flu. This was the “greatest concern”.

“So we’re happy there,” Roberts said, adding that a honeycomb was found near where the penguins died and government officials moved it.

African penguins are endangered and threatened with oil and gas drilling, mining, hunting, fishing and industrial pollution. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species.. There are about 41,700 mature adults, the number of which continues to decline.

Population has plummeted 60 percent in the last 28 years, According to the San Diego Zoo.. In South Africa alone, the number of breeding adults has declined from about 80,000 to 20,600 over the last two decades, according to the Conservation Foundation.

“African penguins populations are declining rapidly and it’s very sad to see the deaths of so many healthy, perhaps breeding adults,” Roberts said. Told NBC News..

“This unusual event is part of what can happen in a normal balanced ecosystem, and if the penguins hadn’t had such a problem yet, it wouldn’t be such a tragedy.”

The Boulders Beach colony in False Bay, near one of Africa’s southernmost regions, is a haven for endangered birds. Two breeding pairs in 1982 In the decades since then, it has grown to 2,200 and has made the Boulders Colony world-famous. It is one of the few places where you can see African penguins up close.

A swarm of honey bees killed more than 60 penguins on a South African beach Source link A swarm of honey bees killed more than 60 penguins on a South African beach

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