LAKE LUZERNE, N.Y. — You’ve heard of truckers saving four-wheelers, pups and time.
But last week, an OTR man en route from New York to Florida, saved the life of a monarch butterfly.
According to local media reports, the trucker was having coffee in a Scotty’s truck stop, near Albany, when a couple entered the shop, put a small box on the table, and asked if anyone headed south would be willing to deliver that box to Florida.
The driver, who remains unidentified, volunteered for the task.
Turns out the box contained a butterfly. It had been found by the woman, Jeanette Brandt when she had been biking in a rural part of the state. She spotted the injured insect and she took it home in her emptied water bottle.
She and her partner Mike Parwana, fattened it up with rotting pears, water and honey and found, on the Internet, a nine-minute video about – believe it or not – how to fix a broken butterfly wing. The video was posted by a Boca Raton, Fla. outfit called the Live Monarch Foundation.
The trick: A little contact cement on the wing and, honest, tiny cardboard splints.
"It was still weak. It was another week or so before it would fly," Parwana told the Post-Star newspaper of Glens Falls.
They also knew that the butterfly was supposed to be, at this time of year, headed to warmer climates. That’s why on Sunday, Parwarna and Brandt took the critter, in a little box, to the Scotty’s, in search of a southbound trucker.
"And all these truckers looked down at their shoes," Parwana told the newspaper. "If you ever want to feel strange, walk into Scotty’s and just put it out there that you want them to take a box south."
Eventually, a driver from Alabama raised his hand. Word came from the driver on Tuesday that the insect was free, warm and headed for Costa Rica.
Janet Costello, a Hamilton, Ont.-based senior underwriter with Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada, heard about the driver’s heroism, she called the driver’s actions “environmentally commendable.”
“I’m not surprised,” Costello, who specializes in small fleets, added. “Drivers are always looking for ways to help, however they can.”
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