Dozens of Endangered Penguins Found Dead With Bee Stings

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Dozens of Endangered Penguins Found Dead With Bee Stings

More than 60 endangered African penguins had been not long ago located dead, all with a number of bee stings and no other external accidents, according to officials in a coastal city in South Africa in which the birds regularly migrate.

Sixty-3 dead African penguins ended up discovered Friday at the Boulders Penguin Colony, in Simon’s Town, about 25 miles south of Cape City, in the southwest of the country.

All the penguins had several bee stings, and “many dead bees were being observed at the site the place the birds experienced died,” in accordance to a statement from the South African National Parks. “Therefore preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died mainly because of remaining stung by a swarm of Cape honey bees.”

No external physical injuries were being noticed on any of the lifeless penguins, the assertion stated.

The penguins migrate to the area annually. The bees uncovered in close proximity to the dead birds are indigenous to the space, “usually coexist with wildlife” and “don’t sting except if provoked,” according to Dr. Alison Kock, a marine biologist at the South African National Parks.

“We have never experienced a challenge like this ahead of,” she reported.

The penguins had been stung around the eyes and on their flippers, parts not lined by feathers, Dr. Kock said.

“The feathers in excess of the penguin’s system are densely packed and it’s unlikely the bees stings could have penetrated as a result of these feathers,” Dr. Kock said in an e mail. “On the other hand, the pores and skin about the eyes and flippers have no feathers and the stings could penetrate in these regions.”

Exams are underway to ascertain if a toxin or a disorder was a component in the penguins’ fatalities, park officers explained. So significantly, officials consider the bees’ nest was disturbed, producing “a mass of bees to flee the nest, swarm and they turned defensive and intense,” Dr. Kock mentioned. “Unfortunately the bees encountered a group of penguins on their flight route.”

African penguins are an endangered species with a population of only about 41,700 adults, as of 2020, in accordance to the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature’s Pink Listing of Threatened Species.

The birds reside primarily in coastal spots of Namibia and South Africa, in accordance to the African Wildlife Basis, and can achieve up to 28 inches in peak and 11 kilos in pounds. They occur ashore to breed, get rid of old feathers and rest.

Two oil spills, in 1994 and 2000, killed around 30,000 penguins, in accordance to the foundation.

The birds’ populace has been reducing simply because overfishing has minimized their source of foods, according to Oceana, a conservation group.

But the penguins are getting wider recognition.

The African penguins’ summer time migration to Simon’s City was recently showcased in a Netflix documentary, “Penguin Town,” narrated by the actor Patton Oswalt.

“Some penguins may be emperors,” Mr. Oswalt states. “In this place, they are gods.”