A PORT Elizabeth family is mourning the tragic death of their beloved boerboel, Captain, which died while trying to save a nine-yearold boy from a swarm of bees.
Captain's owner, Clint Alexander, said yesterday the dog was a hero for diverting the bees' attention away from his son, Brent.
"Captain stood up against a swarm of bees as he fought back. He died a hero saving the life of a human being. My son would not have survived the attack," Alexander said.
Disaster struck at the Kriel Street, Hillside, home on Friday morning when Japie Kouta – who lives near the Alexander family – arrived to cut grass at the Alexanders' neighbours.
Brent had just fed Captain and decided to chain him until Kouta had finished.
"As he was busy working near a boundary wall, I noticed Oom Japie running away towards the direction of his house.
"It was at this stage that my son came inside crying, saying he was stung by bees outside. The whole street was black with bees," Alexander said.
That was when he heard Captain, still chained, barking in the backyard in a desperate bid to fight off the bees.
"I frantically called the police for help but they never pitched. I called Patsy Wagner of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League but her phone was off. There were thousands of bees," Alexander said. He managed to scare off the bees by smoking them out with burning newspaper.
Alexander said they had been battling for more than a year to get rid of the bees in a hive in the neighbour's ceiling.
Kouta said he had previously been attacked by the bees and had to go to a chemist for painkillers.
"I felt very dizzy when I entered my house. I have a feeling their action was triggered by the smell of grass and the noise of the lawnmower," Kouta said.
The neighbour was not home when The Herald visited yesterday.