ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) - A group of zoo birds died an unusual death in southeast New Mexico. They were killed by Africanized bees.
The bees are proving to be a growing threat in Alamogordo, but city officials say they might have a plan to stop them by bringing even more bees to town.
Zoo keepers at the Alameda Zoo in Alamogordo are all too familiar with the buzzing sound but now not for a reason they'd like to remember.
"The bees became very angry, and they ended up stinging several of our birds, two ravens and one turkey vulture," said Alameda Zoo Director Steve Diehl.
Diehl says a strong wind storm in May caused an Africanized bee hive from a tree to break loose and fall right on top of the birds' cage.
He says after months of investigating the incident he finally got word that the bee stings ultimately killed three of the zoo's birds.
"It's traumatic," Diehl said. "We are very close to all our animals."
Even with the loss at the zoo, the city of Alamogordo says they stand behind their decision to pass an ordinance to allow people to keep bees within the city limits.
City officials say they're hoping the ordinance will bring European bees into town, which they say are much less aggressive and safer than the Africanized bees they have now.
"They will mate with the Africanized bees, and eventually they will dilute the gene pool of the Africanized bees making them more mellow and a little easier to get along with," said Alamogordo City Planner Marc South.
South told KRQE News 13 citizens worried about extra bees swarming around Alamogordo shouldn't worry. He says there are extremely strict beekeeping rules outlined in the ordinance.
"It's not like there were no bees in Alamogordo before," South said. "There were bees, there are bees and there will be bees."
The new bee ordinance was passed at the Alamogordo City Commission meeting Tuesday.
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