A wildlife volunteer at a Kansas zoo was able to save a fragile Monarch butterfly by performing a wing transplant.
Katie VanBlaricum, 36, working at her local zoo, noticed that the pretty insect had a piece of its wing missing, according to SWNS.
Using a glass plate, tape and pins, she managed to hold down the butterfly long enough to glue on a piece of wing taken from a dead butterfly.
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The Monarch butterfly while having the wing transplant by Katie VanBlaricum. (SWNS)
“I was helping the zoo tag butterflies when a lady came up to me and said that one of them had a broken wing and she would have to put [it] in the freezer,” VanBlaricum told SWNS.
As it turns out, VanBlaricum works with dead insects at her business, known as Insect Art, in which she apparently creates jewelry and frames using dead insects. However, as she explains, the insects she uses for her artistic work are bred for that process and do not come from the wild.
The Monarch butterfly after the wing transplant by Katie VanBlaricum. (SWNS)
“I managed to find [a butterfly] that was the same size and shape that could work,” she said.
As SWNS reports, she cut off the broken piece of wing and glued on the other wing, which came from a Graphium butterfly, then held it for a few seconds.
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The Monarch butterfly with the piece of wing missing (top left part). (SWNS)
After the successful procedure, the butterfly was able to fly back up into the trees.
“When we finally went out it just flew up into the tree and used the wind to help it fly,” she explained.