A late-blooming monarch butterfly catches a ride on a Southwestern flight.
VIP perks usually pertain to celebrities and politicians. Well, a lone butterfly is receiving royal status after Southwest Airlines offered to give it a ride from Albany to San Antonio, where the beautiful, flying creature will be reunited with fellow monarchs that have already made the journey south for the winter.
A woman in Ulster County, who is coincidentally a butterfly expert discovered the insect, as a caterpillar during the month of September. It was suspected that the monarch would emerge damaged, since it was too late in the year to develop, but instead the insect thrived.
Knowing that the monarch couldn’t survive a harsh winter, the woman contacted the airline, who agreed to fly her and the butterfly to Texas, where it will be released at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Monarch butterflies from the eastern states are known to venture through San Antonio and nearby areas each fall as a part of their annual migration into Mexico, where they will take residence in fir trees.