Capetonians love heading out to Simon’s Town to gaze upon those quirky penguins in their black and white tuxedos. Yet, on Friday morning, September 17, 63 of our beloved African penguins were found dead inside the Boulders African penguin colony.
According to SANParks – Table Mountain National Park, the deaths occurred between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and is being investigated by officials, expert advisors and veterinarians from South African National Parks (SANParks), the City of Cape Town and penguin experts from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).
These dead penguins were then taken to the SANCCOB for post-mortems, while biological samples were sent for disease and toxicology testing. There were no external injuries present.
After the post-mortems were conducted, it was revealed that all of the penguins had several bee stings which was further evident by the many dead bees that were found at the site where the penguins had died.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died because of being stung by a swarm of Cape honey bees, SANParks – Table Mountain National Park adds.
Reports of a dead penguin found on Fish Hoek beach also surfaced, which the SANCCOB vet confirmed was due to multiple bee stings. Samples are still being tested for other toxicity possibilities.