64 African penguins perish due to bee stings

At Cape Town in South Africa, at least 64 dead blackfoot penguins were found. The local conservation authority SANParks suspects that the animals were killed by bee stings and speaks of a โ€œtragic and unusual accidentโ€.

The birds were found Friday on Boulders beach, a popular tourist destination south of Cape Town. Autopsy showed that the animals were not sick or poisoned, but they had bee stings. There were penguins that had been stabbed more than twenty times.

Why the penguins were attacked by the bees is not clear. The conservationists hope to find the assignment in the nearby hives.

The blackfoot penguin is on the list of protected species of the International Organization for Conservation (IUCN). The 64 animals were part of a protected colony in a nature reserve. In 2019, a special sperm bank was set up to save the penguins.