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Iowa woman helps get Monarch butterfly south before winter

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Nearly 1,500 miles from Mexico, workers at the Jester Park Nature Center in Grainger found a Monarch butterfly that needed to hitch a ride if it wanted to make it through the winter.They decided to wing it and ask for help on Facebook to get the insect to a warmer climate. But they didn’t expect anyone to answer the call.”I couldn’t say no,” said Patty Loving who has helped to raise and release many Monarch butterflies before relocating to Iowa from Texas.She found a fascination with the insect as many of them could be found in her yard when she lived in the Lone Star state. She also wanted to help them because their populations in the wild are decreasing.When she saw the Facebook post, she knew just what to do.”I’m going to Texas tomorrow and it’s just perfect. And I contacted the people at Southwest Airlines and they said yes,” Loving said.”Yeah, we’re pretty excited about our little butterfly getting a chance for survival she otherwise wouldn’t have had,” excitedly shared Patrice Petersen-Keys with the nature center.Petersen-Keys helped to keep the butterfly in good health once they found it.She shares this trip could mean a lot for the species.”We need to do something to help them,” Petersen-Keys said. “And this is kind of one of those little feel-good things to say, hey, if this little monarch butterfly can make it to Mexico, we can all rally behind it and feel good about that.”To transfer the butterfly is pretty easy. Conservationists just placed it in an envelope with her wings spread and then placed that into a sealed container inside a cooler.That cooler will have an ice pack in it that will help relax her until she’s able to be released.”Once you see the miracle of how it transitions from a worm to a chrysalis and then you witness how it comes out of the chrysalis and it does this amazing dance and it’s a beautiful butterfly. You can never stop,” Loving said.

Nearly 1,500 miles from Mexico, workers at the Jester Park Nature Center in Grainger found a Monarch butterfly that needed to hitch a ride if it wanted to make it through the winter.

They decided to wing it and ask for help on Facebook to get the insect to a warmer climate.

But they didn’t expect anyone to answer the call.

“I couldn’t say no,” said Patty Loving who has helped to raise and release many Monarch butterflies before relocating to Iowa from Texas.

She found a fascination with the insect as many of them could be found in her yard when she lived in the Lone Star state.

She also wanted to help them because their populations in the wild are decreasing.

When she saw the Facebook post, she knew just what to do.

“I’m going to Texas tomorrow and it’s just perfect. And I contacted the people at Southwest Airlines and they said yes,” Loving said.

“Yeah, we’re pretty excited about our little butterfly getting a chance for survival she otherwise wouldn’t have had,” excitedly shared Patrice Petersen-Keys with the nature center.

Petersen-Keys helped to keep the butterfly in good health once they found it.

She shares this trip could mean a lot for the species.

“We need to do something to help them,” Petersen-Keys said. “And this is kind of one of those little feel-good things to say, hey, if this little monarch butterfly can make it to Mexico, we can all rally behind it and feel good about that.”

To transfer the butterfly is pretty easy.

Conservationists just placed it in an envelope with her wings spread and then placed that into a sealed container inside a cooler.

That cooler will have an ice pack in it that will help relax her until she’s able to be released.

“Once you see the miracle of how it transitions from a worm to a chrysalis and then you witness how it comes out of the chrysalis and it does this amazing dance and it’s a beautiful butterfly. You can never stop,” Loving said.