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Police dog handlers and K9 recovering after being stung by bees while on the job

KwaZulu-Natal Search and Rescue Unit dog handler Clinton Odayar and Port Shepstone K9 Search and Rescue Unit, Warrant Officer Fafa Pretorius with K9 Dante. Odayar and Dante were stung by bees in Nongoma. Picture: Supplied

KwaZulu-Natal Search and Rescue Unit dog handler Clinton Odayar and Port Shepstone K9 Search and Rescue Unit, Warrant Officer Fafa Pretorius with K9 Dante. Odayar and Dante were stung by bees in Nongoma. Picture: Supplied

Published May 16, 2022

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal Search and Rescue dog is recovering at a local veterinary hospital after being stung by bees in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday.

Police were searching the mountainous area of Nongoma for a missing person when the incident took place.

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Two dog handlers and a member of the public were also stung.

South African Air Force medics treat search and rescue dog Dante, who was stung by bees in Nongoma. Picture: Supplied

According to a source, police had located the body of a missing person on a cliff and while processing the scene a swarm of bees stung them. A family member of the deceased collapsed as a result of the bee stings. K9 Dante's hind legs went limp and they began swelling.

Police had to leave the scene immediately and called for medical assistance. A South African Airforce helicopter stationed at the Virginia Airport Joint Operational centre in Durban North rushed to their aid.

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K9 Dante was airlifted to a Westville veterinarian.

South African Air Force medics treat police search and rescue dog K9 Dante who was stung by bees in Nongoma. Picture: Supplied

On Sunday, sources said the speedy response and actions of the South African air force members and medics on board the craft saved the K9’s life.

Dante is 9 years old. His handler, Clinton Odayar, is also recovering.

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Dante was part of the KZN Search and Rescue teams that responded to the devastating April floods in KZN. The rescue units were made up of front-line officers, K9 units, diving teams with various vessels, helicopters and fixed air-wing planes, who responded to the disaster, working co-operatively with local disaster management teams, emergency services and the South African National Defence Force.

Police Search and Rescue K9 Dante at a vet in Westville. Picture: Supplied

National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola revealed that the death toll is now 447, with 89 persons reportedly still missing.

He also added that 854 call-outs and scenes had been attended to which led to the rescue of 165 victims. Eight-seven bodies were recovered by rescue teams in the Greater eThekwini area.

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Masemola applauded the dedication and patriotism displayed by all involved.

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