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Dog injured, another killed by bees in St. Pete

9:38 PM, Nov 9, 2013   |    comments
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St. Pete Police say a swarm of Africanized killer bees stung a pit bull to death and left another in critical condition.

It happened in the middle of a neighborhood on 23rd Avenue South in St Petersburg.

Bee experts say the hive was up in the attic of a home.

Inside there were 80,000 to 100,000 Africanized killer bees.

At around 11:30 Thursday morning, St. Pete police say two pit bulls came in front of this home and started barking and unfortunately they stirred up trouble.

A swarm of Africanized killer bees flew over and attacked them.

One of the dogs, named Boss, was killed.

The other, named Mama, was stung over 100 times and left in critical condition.

A man who lived down the street cared for the two strays and saw boss lying dead on the ground.

The man said, "They were crawling all over them. I mean, I looked at boss and in the inside of his mouth his canine teeth were being covered up by his gums by how swollen they were from being stung."

Mama was taken to the VCA Noah's Place Animal Medical Center for treatment. Police later arrived at the scene and brought a bee expert who later determined the hive was inside the attic of  a home, and it contained 80,000 bees.

News channel 8 spoke with the homeowners, Don and Shirley Burns.

We could still see bees swarming near the roof.

The homeowners had no idea there was a hive there.

Don Burns says, "I don't know. It's just something that happens in life. We all have to deal with whatever is in nature."

Burns' wife Shirley says they never venture to that side of the house, and wish there is more she could've done.

Shirley said, "We're really friendly, good loving people. I don't cause no trouble, I try to get along with everybody. But this is just an incident that happened. I don't know whose dogs those were. But I'm sorry one of them died."

She added, "I wouldn't put the community in danger like this. I wouldn't."

A neighbor, Tukevia Smith, said that house has been a source of problems for a while.

Smith said, "It's horrible down there. It's been that way for years. We've made multiple complaints to the city, nothing has changed."

And while this story is sad, it certainly could've been worse.

Smith said, "Thank God it was two dogs and not two children."

A spokesperson for the animal hospital said Mama is now in stable condition and is on IV fluids.

Veterinarians are cautiously optimistic she will survive.

The American Red Cross provided the homeowners with shelter for the night.

St. Petersburg police say it's unlikely the homeowners will face criminal charges.


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