Saving Monarch Butterflies Locally

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By Christyn Allen

“When you know they’re endangered, it’s like you know you’ve got to do something.”

Shirley Cochran has a long history of caring for animals of all kinds. She worked at the Cincinnati Zoo taking care of endangered gorillas. But it’s not gorillas taking all of her attention now. It’s a much smaller animal.

“If you can take care of an innocent little butterfly, that’s the coolest thing in the world,” said Cochran.

In July, the monarch butterfly was declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While the colorful insects are fun to watch, they also serve an important purpose. “They pollinate all the flowers. Anything they land on, they pollinate it,” said Cochran.

But Shirley says solving this problem isn’t as complex as saving other endangered species. She raised 72 Monarch Butterflies last year, and she’s raising more now.

She says not only is raising butterflies an easy hobby for anyone to get in to, but it’s rewarding to watch the insects grow from egg to adult.


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