San Diego Dogsitter Watches Chihuahua Die from African Bee Swarm
A 9-year-old Chihuahua was killed by a swarm of Africanized bees in a Pacific Beach community, while a dogsitter looked on helplessly, unable to free the dog from the deadly attack.
"The terrible part is you can't do anything about it," said Christopher Leyva. "You're sitting there watching them die, man. You know, there's no real words for that. It affected me pretty bad."
According to ABC10 News, Leyva had been dogsitting Pepita and her two housemates, Elvis and Chiquita, on June 9, when the horrible incident occurred. He rushed Pepita to the veterinarian, but she was dead by the time he arrived. Leyva said that there were "too many stingers all over her body to count." The other dogs were attacked as well, and he tried his best to clear the bees off the dogs, but his efforts proved to be futile. Fortunately, the other dogs survived the swarm.
It’s not just small dogs that are subject to death by swarming bees. CBS News reported that last year a swarm of 30,000 Africanized bees swarmed two horses in Texas, killing both of them.
On Friday, the beset dogsitter showed ABC10 a specimen jar of the Africanized bees, and he is trying to find out if somebody in the neighborhood is cultivating the bees and is unaware of the type of bees they actually are. Notably, a UC San Diego scientist is about to unveil a study showing that 80 percent of bees in San Diego County are Africanized.
According to the CBS News report, killer bees were first introduced to the Americas in Brazil in 1957. They were spawned from a mating of African bees and European honey bees. Unfortunately, some of the bees were released into the environment, and they traveled north, ultimately arriving in the U.S. in 1990.
Christopher Leyva cautioned his neighbors that beekeeping can be a dangerous prospect: "What a lot of people don't get is, they think that they're cute, and they want to save the environment, and I'm down with that, but the thing is, we're in a residential thing. There's children here."