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Zoo Asks For Woman’s Help In Repairing Butterfly’s Wings, She Gives It A Transplant

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Some people volunteer at animal shelters, others save kittens who accidentally gambol onto the road, while the founder of Insect Art repairs the wings of butterflies!

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The woman, who makes jewelry from real insects, is an expert at repairing butterfly wings, doing wing transplants, and making sure that these beautiful insects are restored to glory. This is a meticulous process that requires patience, dexterity, and a real passion for butterflies. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s exclusive in-depth interview with Katie VanBlaricum, the woman who was responsible for the butterfly’s successful wing transplant.

The founder of Insect Art helped a Monarch butterfly fly again by repairing its wings

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Katie VanBlaricum, the founder of Insect Art from Topeka in Kansas, elaborated about the butterfly surgery in an interview with Bored Panda.

“It is not difficult for me to repair the wings since I work with dead insects for a living.  It takes me less than 5 minutes to do the repair. You have to work fast, to avoid stressing the butterfly out any more than necessary.”

“I have a friend who works at a butterfly conservatory, and I have seen his “Frankenstein” butterflies flying around there, so I knew it was possible. I asked him for advice, as well as consulting the internet,” Katie explained.

The transplant was a success!

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Image credits: Insect Art

The butterfly was regaining its strength after the transplant…

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Image credits: Insect Art

Butterfly update: it’s storming here today, so no release planned. He can fly a bit, but not as much as I’d like to see. Perhaps he just needs to get his strength up. Here he is, eating. You can see the proboscis collecting nectar from this sponge. His proboscis is like a straw. Fun fact: Monarchs taste with their feet!

Gepostet von Insect Art am Samstag, 21. September 2019

“I have always been interested in insects and wildlife.  My “Insect Art” business has been around for nearly 14 years now, and I make my living buying and selling insect specimens for art and science. They always come from sustainably farmed sources.”

“I did take some entomology classes in college, but my degree was in Anthropology. My favorite thing about insects is their diversity,” Katie went into detail. “Any shape or color or behavior you can dream up, there’s an insect for that! I am very much inspired by people like Steve Irwin whose passion it was to make the world love the underappreciated animals.”

…and later flew off into the sky!

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Image credits: Insect Art

Butterfly update: the repaired Monarch got away from me today! Flew up high in an oak tree, so he’s off. Godspeed! (I had been taking him to some flower gardens outside, to see what he could do. Until now, I had always re-captured him and brought him back home.)

Gepostet von Insect Art am Dienstag, 24. September 2019

“Lots of people think they don’t like “bugs”, but once they come to know and understand them, most people can find something to love about insects!  I have volunteered for wildlife rehab for over ten years, and I’m a docent at our local zoo, so helping animals and helping people understand animals is a long term passion of mine.”

Katie also confirmed that she has, in fact, volunteered at animal shelters, as well as saved kittens who had wandered onto the road.

The founder of Insect Art has been helping butterflies for several years

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Image credits: Insect Art

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Image credits: Insect Art

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Image credits: Insect Art

“This one was deformed out of the chrysalis, so I did a wing transplant. Hoping he can fly tomorrow,” the creator of Insect Art posted on her Facebook page, detailing that the insect had problems flying from the moment it was born.

The butterfly surgeon got more than 34,000 likes, 32,000 shares, and 3,800 comments when she posted photos of how she helped the insect in need.

According to the insect doctor, the Monarch butterfly had regained its strength and was able to fly perfectly! Godspeed, little buddy!

The founder of Insect Art makes jewelry from insects by rehydrating them and making them look natural and lifelike. Each piece of jewelry she makes takes her “takes several days, and each end result is unique.”

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to help butterflies fly again

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Image credits: Insect Art

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Image credits: Insect Art

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Image credits: Insect Art

Monarch butterflies are also known as milkweed, the common tiger, the wanderer, and the black veined brown. I don’t know about you, dear Readers, but the common tiger and the wanderer might even sound better than ‘Monarch.’

These butterflies have a wingspan usually between 3.5 and 4 inches (8.9 to 10.2 centimeters). Monarchs are sometimes confused with Viceroys who are patterned and colored similarly but are far smaller and have an extra black stripe across each hindwing.

You can watch the full video here

Butterfly Wing repair video, at your request. Honestly, this is probably the worst job I have ever done on a live butterfly (new wing isn’t perfectly straight), but it will show you how the process is done, so you can try it yourself if you ever have to.

Gepostet von Insect Art am Donnerstag, 26. September 2019

During the autumn migration, Monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles southward. What’s also notable about these butterflies is that Monarchs have been bred on the International Space Station. You could even say that they’re out of this world.

What do you think about butterfly surgery? What’s the most beautiful species of butterfly in your opinion? Have you ever helped out an animal in need of help? I saved a snail from getting squashed this morning, for example. Let us know how you’re helping animals in the comments below.

This is what people had to say about the butterfly surgery

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