When this 3-day-old butterfly emerged from his cocoon, his right wing was damaged beyond repair…or so he thought! A woman named Romy McCloskey knew that without the ability to fly, he’d quickly starve to death. She was determined to try her best to save him, but it meant getting a little creative and thinking outside of the box! She examined her patient and set off to gather the materials she thought she might need.A plush towel, sharp scissors, tweezers, talc, contact cement, cotton swabs, and a butterfly that had recently passed away to donate the wing. McCloskey raises butterflies and knows a lot about their structure and what will and will not hurt them. Before starting her surgery, she did a lot of research and talked to fellow butterfly enthusiasts to learn the best way to go about the procedure.She gently laid the butterfly onto his back and was mindful not to let him move around lest he damage his remaining wing. Very carefully, she clipped away the damaged wings. She learned that most of a butterfly’s wing is much like hair or a fingernail; cutting it away won’t cause any pain. She took her time and attached the donor wing to her new friend.
It wasn’t an exact match, but it was close! She let him rest for a while…and when he was ready, he tested the wing out…And it worked very well! He was able to fly without too much extra effort…and best of all he would survive!