A North Hollywood family is mourning their 5-year-old pit bull, Babe, after she was fatally attacked by a bee swarm this weekend.
According to KTLA, the tragic event occurred on Saturday when tree trimmers removed a neighbor’s tree limb containing a bee hive. The neighbor fled from the area when the swarm emerged from its hive, but Babe was not as lucky. The Huffington Post reported that Los Angeles firefighters tried to eradicate the bee swarm by spraying foam and water at them, but not before the pit bull was stung multiple times.
The 5-year-old canine was rushed to a veterinary clinic, but later died from her extensive injuries. However, a neighbor who witnessed the attack said that no children or other neighborhood residents were injured.
“We’ve all got kids and dogs. Luckily, they didn’t hurt any kids, but it’s terrible they hurt a dog,” the neighbor said.
On Sunday, the remainder of the tree that had housed the hive was removed. Although witnesses were unable to verify what type of bees had been involved in the attack, the Huffington Post reported that several similar incidents had been perpetrated by Africanized bees.
According to the Inquisitr, a 10-year-old Australian Shepherd was killed earlier in March near Modesto, Calif., after an attack by Africanized bees. Laist reports that in June 2012, a similar attack by a swarm of bees at a boarding house resulted in the deaths of 16 dogs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which tracks the variety, says that they are more prone to swarms than other bees and are “extremely protective of their hive and brood.”
“Regardless of myths to the contrary, Africanized honey bees do not fly out in angry swarms to randomly attack unlucky victims,” a report by the organization states. “However, the AHB can become highly defensive in order to protect their hive, or home. Again, it is now better to consistently exercise caution with respect to all bee activity. So keep your distance from any swarm of bees.”