A monarch butterfly that had suffered a wing injury found a remarkable second chance at life through a delicate wing-repair procedure.
Romy McCloskey unexpectedly delved into the world of raising and releasing butterflies when she stumbled upon caterpillars on a Milkweed plant in her backyard during the previous autumn. She had no prior experience but decided to nurture these caterpillars by keeping them in a glass tank and providing them with food, leading to an unexpected passion for butterfly care.
She shared her journey on Facebook, explaining: “I had no idea what to do, other than to keep them in a glass tank and feed them, and wait. Little did I know there was much more involved. So, I read up on them, as much as I could, joined a great group and experienced many losses in addition to many, many more successes”.
Her dedication to these creatures became even more apparent when one of the butterflies emerged from its cocoon with a damaged wing, rendering it unable to survive in the wild.
Romy shared the story of this injured butterfly on Facebook, saying: “This butterfly is 3 days old and was born with this injury that was sustained while pupating”. After a friend shared a video with her demonstrating how to repair butterfly wings, Romy decided to try to help the injured butterfly.
She documented the process of assisting “her little guy” on Facebook, providing detailed steps on how she managed to repair the damaged wing. Her professional background as a costume designer and master embroiderer proved invaluable for this delicate procedure.
“When this little guy presented himself to me with such a torn and damaged set of wings, I posted about it on my personal FB page”, she explained. “I was, needless to say, heartbroken at the thought of having to put him down. Then a friend sent me a video on repairing wings. I figured, since I do so much designing, cutting, and putting together of costumes… I could give this a go. And I’m really glad I did!”
For the operation, she utilized items like a towel, scissors, tweezers, talc, contact cement, a toothpick, and even the wings of her own departed pet. Romy carefully secured the butterfly with a bent hanger, removed the damaged wing pieces, and glued a new wing segment in place. The procedure was a success, and the butterfly was able to fly. Romy recounted: “A quick spin around the backyard, then a little rest on one of the bushes… then… ‘like the down of a thistle’… off he flew! My heart soared with him, for sure!”
The Live Monarch Foundation has also created a video tutorial on repairing broken butterfly wings, offering a valuable resource for those interested in this noble endeavor.
Share this heartwarming and unconventional animal rescue story with your loved ones and friends to spread the message of compassion and second chances.