Wheeled migration: Trucker transports injured butterfly

| 11/24/2008

A trucker from Alabama recently performed an unusual mission of mercy involving a monarch butterfly.

The trucker was at Scotty’s truck stop north of Albany, NY, when Jeannette Brandt walked in with a cardboard box and asked if any of the truckers were headed south. In the box was a monarch butterfly with a broken wing, which Brandt discovered along a biking trail.

She’d gone online and found how to mend the wing with a spot of contact cement and tiny cardboard splints. She fed it a honey-and-water solution along with pear juice.

Brandt says the trucker, whose name she didn’t catch, not only gave the monarch a ride to Florida, but called to report the outcome.

“He was going to Florida, and he said when he got to Northern Florida the temperature was about 70 degrees,” Brandt told Land Line Now. “So he found a nice swampy area, and there were wild flowers growing there. He thought that would be a good spot. … He said, ‘You know, it took a few minutes, but it got going and it flew away.’ ”

With any luck, the monarch is now winging its way to central Mexico, where hundreds of millions of monarchs spend their winters at almost exactly the same spot year after year.

– By Staff Writer Reed Black