A butterfly can fly for the first time thanks to a master embroider performing incredibly intricate surgery on its deformed wing.
The monarch butterfly was just days old when Romy McCloskey discovered it couldn’t fly as it was missing a large section of its right wing.
She was ‘heartbroken’ at the thought of having to put it down, so she took it upon herself to save it.
Remarkably, Ms McCloskey fixed the insect by attaching a wing from a dead butterfly.
The costume designer, who cares for insects at her home near Houston, Texas, US, started by holding the butterfly down with the hook of a coat hanger.
She said: ‘I carefully extended his wings and trimmed off the damaged piece to create a clean, straight edge.
‘I matched my donor wing to the live butterfly and cut to fit.
‘Then I applied a tiny drop of contact cement to each wing piece and spread thinly along the top edge and let it dry.’
She then made sure the wings were aligned and pressed together gently.
Ms McCloskey said the procedure in no way hurt the butterfly as they ‘don’t have pain receptors’ in their wings.
The next day, Ms McCloskey took him outside and it started flying ‘high, fast and confident’.
She added: ‘I was so excited, I cheered and my heart certainly soared with him.’