Washington state officials lost track of a “feisty” murder hornet in a failed effort to find and destroy a nest of the invasive pests.
The state department of agriculture tried to track the female Asian giant hornet after capturing her on Oct. 5 and keeping her alive with strawberry jam, which she appeared to enjoy, department entomologist Sven Spicher told the Associated Press.
Scientists tied a tracking device to her body and let her fly free two days later, releasing her onto an apple tree.
After the hornet flew through some blackberry bushes, officials lost track of her — though they believe the tracker was still attached at the time of its last signal.
“This one was a lot feistier,” Spicher said.
Eighteen hornets have been found in the state since they were first discovered near the US-Canadian border last year, according to the agriculture department.
This wasn’t the first time a hornet has slipped off the radar for