Bees kill dozens of endangered penguins in South Africa

A swarm of bees has killed 63 critically endangered African penguins on a beach outside Cape Town, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds said on Sunday.
"After testing, we found bee stings around the penguins' eyes," said David Roberts of the foundation, a clinical veterinarian.
"This is a very rare occurrence. We don't expect it to happen often, it is a coincidence.
"There were also dead bees at the scene," he told AFP over the phone.
The protected birds found on Friday came from a colony in Simonstown, a small town near Cape Town.
The area is a national park and the Cape honeybees are part of the ecosystem.
"The penguins ... can't just die because they're already critically endangered. They're a protected species," said Roberts.
South African national parks said the birds were taken to the foundation for autopsy and samples were sent for disease and toxicology tests.
"None of the birds were found to have any external physical injuries," the park said in a statement.
The autopsies showed that all of the penguins had multiple bee stings.
African penguins that live on the coast and islands of southern Africa are on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they are at high risk of extinction.
str-cld / bp / gd

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