KEY POINTS

  • The hornet's nest was stolen Saturday afternoon
  • The park reminded people that "leave no trace" includes not stealing
  • Some people expressed their dismay following the incident

Someone has stolen something quite valuable from a reservoir and park in Cambridge, Massachusetts: a hornet's nest.

The theft happened over the weekend, Fresh Pond Reservoir noted Tuesday in a Facebook post where it also shared videos of the nest. Apparently, a man brought his own saw to cut out the branch of the Hawthorne tree that was hosting the hornet's nest at past 2:25 p.m. Saturday.

"This act robs the public of not only the opportunity to view the scheduled laboratory dissection video, but also deprives our visitors of the public viewing of the nest after preservation as a display piece in the Ranger Station," Fresh Pond Reservoir wrote.

Prior to the theft, thousands of visitors to the park marveled at the sight of the large hornet nest, which had grown to be about the size of a "good-sized turkey" in the last four months, according to Cambridge Day. There was even a sign under a tree, which said the nest was high enough for both the bald-faced hornets' and people's safety.

There were already plans to remove the nest this week to ensure the proper hibernation of the queen, with most of the other colony members having died already, Ranger Tim Puopolo said as per Cambridge Day. Then the nest would have been preserved for educational purposes.

Now the rangers are seeking any information about the incident.

"'Leave No Trace' applies as guidance not to leave anything behind in nature and also not to remove, vandalize, or steal any natural features," Fresh Pond Reservation noted, reminding the public that "everything at Fresh Pond" is considered to be protected.

"We remind everyone that Fresh Pond is for everyone and is not for holiday wreath-making, bouquet arrangements, or gathering of nuts, berries, and fungi. What may seem insignificant to you, may be the whole world to a wild friend," the park added.

Several people reacted to the news of the theft, with some calling it "disappointing" and a "despicable act of violence," while others wondered why the nest was stolen in the first place.

Anyone who may have information about the incident may contact Ranger Tim at tpuopolo@cambridgema.gov.

Hornet's nest Representative image of a hornet nest. Photo: Pixabay