The world-famous Boulders Beach in South Africa is a paradise for tourists who travel from distant places to come, enjoy life among the boulders, and be with the endangered African penguins. The beach attracts thousands of visitors a year. However, many of the birds died after a swarm of bees stung them in a rare occurrence. The protected birds are from a local colony and died from multiple bee stings. They were discovered on the shore. None of them showed signs of other physical injuries. Officials of the National parks revealed to a section of the media that there is no past record of an attack of this nature at this place, and it appears to be a stray case.

The BBC quotes a marine biologist who said the penguins and bees have to live in harmony. She is Dr. Alison Kock of South Africa's National Parks Agency (SANParks). In her opinion, the bees do not sting unless there is a provocation. It is possible that there was some local disturbance. As a result, the bees had to fly out of their nest, and the penguins were in their path.

Post-mortem of the penguins

The authorities conducted a post-mortem of the penguins. It revealed sting marks around the eyes and on their flippers. A knowledgeable person explained that there are no feathers in these portions of the body. Hence, these are exposed and vulnerable. A senior penguin keeper at Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium added that penguins have pink sweat glands around their eyes.

The area is thin and similar to human fingers. It seems one of the birds had multiple sting marks. The honeybees die after stinging, and there were many such dead bees at the scene.

African penguins are small in size

African penguins are in a class of their own. Unlike other species of penguins, they are smaller and found on the coast and islands of South Africa and Namibia.

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Some of them have been sighted in Gabon. Their survival is under threat because of food shortages. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reveals commercial fishing as one of the factors responsible for this situation. Cape honeybees are an integral part of the local ecosystem. Experts are conducting tests to establish the facts.

They have plans to carry out different checks on the penguins to ascertain the factors that led to the deaths. These birds are on the list of endangered species, and the sudden loss of so many birds has taken everyone by surprise. It is necessary to take preventive measures to avoid a worst-case scenario. At the beginning of the 20th century, their population was more than a million. In 2010, it plummeted to just 55,000 and was declared endangered.