PANTEGO, Texas (TheBlaze/AP) — A swarm of about 30,000 bees attacked a North Texas couple as they exercised their miniature horses, stinging the animals so many times they died.
Kristen Beauregard, 44, was stung about 200 times, and her boyfriend about 50 times, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
But the horses, Chip and Trump, couldn’t be saved. “It looked like they were moving because they were so covered in bees,” Beauregard told the Star-Telegram, breaking into tears. “It just looked like they were shimmering because the bees were on them and stinging them.”
“They were chasing us down, they were following us,” Beauregard said of the incident. “We swept up piles and piles of them … it was like a bad movie.”
The bees are being tested to see whether they are Africanized or “killer” bees. It is unclear what prompted them to leave the hive.
Beauregard was exercising Trump, a Shetland pony, when he started to jump and kick, she said. That is when a cloud of bees started stinging them all over. Trying to escape, she jumped in the pool and the horse followed.
“It got all dark, like it was nighttime there were so many bees,” she told the newspaper. “We were trying 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.”
She escaped to the house, and her boyfriend called 911. Bees chased her, crashing into the windows of the house. Trump ran through the yard, rubbing against bushes in an attempt to wipe off the bees.
Firefighters arrived with special gear and a foam substance used to clear the bees. They were able to drag the horses to a pasture where police and paramedics tried to treat them.
Chip, a 6-year-old show horse, died before a veterinarian arrived. Trump was sedated and taken to equine veterinarian Patricia Tersteeg’s clinic.
“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,” Tersteeg told the Star-Telegram. “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.”
The bees also killed five hens, and stung the couple’s dog.
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The only place Beauregard wasn’t stung was on her feet, which were protected by shoes. And at first, her heart was racing, keeping her awake all of Wednesday night, but that improved by Thursday morning and now she is sore, can hardly move her muscles and has bumps all over, even on her eyelids. She’s treating herself with Benadryl.
Looking back, she worries about what could have happened if the bees had attacked residents of the nursing home next door.
“I want everyone to know if you see bees on your property it needs to be taken care of immediately,” Beauregard said. “We did not disturb the hive. We were nowhere near it.”