Weather of Arabia - In a strange and rare incident, 63 endangered penguins were found dead on Friday in their colony in Simonstown, near Cape Town in South Africa.
According to a statement issued by the South African National Parks (Sanparks), the autopsy results revealed that all penguins were infected with multiple bee stings, and many dead bees were also found at the site where the birds died. The penguin died after being stung by honeybees, but samples are still being tested to rule out other possible causes.
Alison Cook, a marine biologist at SANParks, thanked the organization's partners, including the Southern African Shorebird Conservation Foundation (SANCCOB) and the City of Cape Town, for their assistance in investigating the 'extraordinary event'.
"No more dead African penguins were found at the site today and we will continue to monitor the situation," Cook said in the statement.
Veterinarian David Roberts of the South African Coastal Bird Conservation Foundation (SANCCOB) told AFP that bee stings were found around the eyes of the penguins. We don't expect it to happen very often, it's just a coincidence."
These penguins are among the smaller penguin species, known for their irregular markings and loud vocalizations.
This type of penguins is experiencing a sharp decline in its numbers, as their number decreased from more than one million at the beginning of the twentieth century to only 55 thousand in 2010 AD, when it was declared an endangered species.