• Great Smoky Mountains ant's sting 'could kill a cow,' officials say


    GATLINBURG, Tenn. - An interesting insect is popping up in the Great Smoky Mountains and park officials want people to be on the lookout, WLOS reported.

    The insect is called a red velvet ant, but it's not really an ant. It's actually a type of wasp that has a painful sting. 

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    Park officials said theoretically the sting can be so painful that it could kill a cow, however, entomologists said that's just a legend.

    "They're not a danger to livestock or anything like that. That was just a name that, because they got such a powerful sting that somebody came up with the cow killer," said entomologist Becky Nichols.

    Experts said there are 19 different species of velvet ants in the park and that they are unique and colorful. They said visitors would be lucky to see them.

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