Day 543 – The birds and the bees

Yes, yes. We’re all adults here. We know how this works. Well, apart from the size difference. I mean, I’ve never really understood… ah… never mind. Another time.

But this is a whole different “the birds and the bees” tale.
It doesn’t end up in any sort of procreation – in fact, quite the opposite.

We’re always “beeing” told to look after the honey bees by Big Apiculture. There are news articles, puff pieces and even a film (allegedly featuring some hints of iffy inter-species naughtiness).

It’s superb PR. The cult is hard at work.

They won’t tell you about the dead penguins, though. Oh no.

The absolute buzzy bastards.

The penguins were transported to SANCCOB for post-mortems, and biological samples were sent for disease and toxicology testing. No external injuries were found on the birds, and post-mortems revealed that the penguins suffered multiple bee stings, with many dead bees found at the site of death.
Thus far, the preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died after being stung by Cape honey bees. A dead penguin was also found on Fish Hoek beach on Saturday, having also sustained multiple bee stings.

There are just 13,000 breeding pairs of these gorgeous, comical, endangered birds left in the entire country, and then some swarm of angry, stripy scumbags knocks off over 3% of the Boulders Beach population in a single, unnecessary hour-long stinging frenzy, ostensibly just for shits and giggles.

Absolute carnage.

You might think that this would be the end of the story, but only if you weren’t aware that penguins are actually rather well-known for two things: waddling and eating fish their absolute lack of forgiveness, and their cold, abiding bloodlust when it comes to avenging their dead brethren.

Who amongst us could forget the great Muizenberg Herring Massacre of 1978?

Exactly.

This now seems almost certain to escalate way beyond a simple local dispute. Already, there are rumours of calls being made by the survivors of this heinous attack to their less monochrome cousins up north, to assist with retaliatory strikes on hives around the Simonstown area. And it seems unlikely to end there, with the prospect of an all-out World War between birds and insects surely very much on the cards, given each sides’ well-recognised aggression towards the other.

Ostriches vs Termites
Chickens taking on Wasps
Pigeons against Beetles

Overall, my money is on the birds. Not so much the penguins – which, while clearly adorable, are also clearly a bit shit at fighting bees (see above) – but overall, the size and maneuverability of the Aves class will surely outdo the sheer numbers of the six-legged warriors, despite their ferocious reputation for organisation and aggression (and killing penguins).

So… are you Team Honey or Team Egg?

Kies jou kant Choose your side wisely, just in case we humans should get dragged into this conflict.

You think the pro-vax/anti-vax thing is getting nasty?
You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Welcome to Cape Town, Africa

No, we don’t have lions roaming the CBD or elephants in our back gardens (most of the time) like what they do up North, but Cape Town still likes to remind us from time to time that it is still officially in Africa.

Like when a caracal is killing penguins just down the road, for example.
Wouldn’t get that in the Kruger National Park, now would you?

A spate of penguin fatalities has occurred in Simon’s Town over the past two weeks. The City has identified the predator by installing trap cameras in the area. The images confirmed the presence of a large caracal.

Caracals are great. They look really cool and that is primarily because actually, they are really cool.
Sadly though, our African penguins are endangered (although the caracal probably isn’t aware of that fact), and so this penguin killing has got to stop.

In its efforts to protect the penguins, while at the same time managing the sensitive ecosystem as carefully as possible, the City will be closing off a portion of the Simon’s Town shoreline to members of the public from 13:00 today 8 July 2016 until further notice.

The area which will be closed off stretches from Windmill Beach to Froggy Pond in Simons Town. The area will be marked off with tape and City Law Enforcement will be monitoring the site to ensure that no member of the public accesses the area during this time.

‘We ask that members of the public exercise patience during this time. The City hopes to trap the caracal, collar the animal with a radio tracking device and to move it away from the penguin colony, but still within its current home range. Cordoning off the area will also help us to deploy other passive mitigation measures to discourage the return of the caracal to the Burghers Walk to Froggy Pond area,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

Epic. Can you imagine Johan getting home this evening?

“Oh, hello Johan dear, how was work today?”
“Actually pretty good, thanks. I closed off a section of local shoreline to prevent a large predatory wildcat from eating any more loveable and endangered seabirds. You?”
“We… well, we had a 2 hour meeting about July’s sales targets. And there were some quite nice biscuits on the trolley.”

Johan wins again. Despite only having lemon creams with his coffee.

More local caracal news as and when we get it.