Thousands of bees suspected to be Africanized bees, or “killer bees,” attacked a couple in Pantego, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas, last week and killed their two miniature horses.
On Wednesday, 44-year-old Kristen Beauregard was exercising her miniature horses, Trump and Chip, in the backyard of her home when a swarm of about 30,000 bees attacked her, along with her boyfriend and the two horses.
Beauregard and her boyfriend were stung 200 times and 50 times, respectively, but survived the horrific attack. The two horses were not as lucky, succumbing to the multiple stings they suffered to their heads and bodies.
“They were chasing us down, they were following us,” she said. “We swept up piles and piles of them…It was like a bad movie,” Beauregard, who had noticed bees near her home, but did not have any idea about the upcoming danger, told Star Telegram.
Beauregard said that she hadn't noticed anything unusual on the day of the attack, until Trump, a Shetland pony, started jumping and kicking. Soon after that, a dark cloud of bees appeared and began stinging. To get rid of the bees, Beauregard and Trump jumped into a nearby pool.
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“It got all dark, like it was nighttime there were so many bees,” Beauregard said. “We were trying to stand up in the water, but every time we stuck our heads out for air, they would cover us and start stinging us. We were trying to breathe and they were stinging us in the face and in the nose.”
Beauregard managed to escape into the house, but the bees surrounded Trump and the second horse, Chip, in the yard.
After Beauregard’s boyfriend called 911, firefighters arrived and brought the situation under control by using special gear and foam to clear out the clouds of bees.
Chip died shortly after the attack, while Trump died at a veterinary clinic on Friday after attempts to treat him with a series of drugs.
“He had so much swelling in his face, he must have kept his face above water to breathe. That’s where all the bee stings concentrated,” Patricia Tersteeg, an equine veterinarian, said. “He was so overwhelmed by bites that his body could not handle it. That’s way too much for any 250-pound mammal to survive.”
A sample of the bees was sent to experts to determine whether they were Africanized “killer” bees, known for their aggressive behavior. The bee hive, which Beauregard later discovered in a shed near her backyard, was three feet wide and five feet tall, according to reports.
In June, a similar incident took place in another Texas town, when a huge swarm of killer bees attacked and killed a man with more than 3,000 stings. Larry Goodwin, 62, was attacked while when mowing a neighbor's pasture with his tractor in Moody, Texas.