Woman Nurses Butterfly to Health With Feather Wing in Viral Video Series

A woman vowed to aid an injured butterfly back to good health, while TikTok watched in real time.

On June 20, Dahlia found a butterfly that would come to play a much larger role in her life than she might have first thought. The monarch butterfly had a broken wing, meaning he could no longer fly.

Named Nemo-Bucky the Bionic Butterfly, Dahlia showed him in her original video, with a clearly non-functioning wing. "I'm gonna take care of him," she promised her more than 400,000 viewers. The video can also be seen in full here.

In following videos, she fed him watered-down honey, to make reconstituted nectar, but his wing was only getting worse.

"Day by day, more and more of his wing was breaking off, so I knew I had to improvise fast," she told The Dodo. Improvisation came in the form of a white feather she had picked up from a craft store.

A similar size to his natural wings, she glued the feather on using contact cement after learning the technique from Youtube videos.

"I didn't have access to a spare butterfly wing, so I made one with a feather and glued it on," she wrote in a TikTok video, showing Nemo with a new white feather wing that moved in time with his others.

"He can fly a little bit, but not very far. Still better than not at all," she added.

@flosferox

his full name is Nemo-Bucky the Bionic Butterfly #butterflyrescue #prosthetic #bionicbutterfly

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A later video showed him flapping his wings, before flying for just a short period of time, which Dahlia explained was: "One of his more successful flights."

Over time, viewers were able to watch as Nemo began to learn to fly with his wing. At this point, Dahlia was under the impression she would be caring for the butterfly for his whole life, but she was mistaken.

On July 6, she updated her followers with some good news about Nemo—he had flown away himself. "Two days ago, he let me know he was ready," she said in a video.

"He flew up higher and higher, sat in a tree for a while, as if to say thank you, and then he flew away," she said. "I never thought it possible that he could be rescued, but he did it. He never gave up and now he is out there flying free."

Flying Around Weeks Later

It wasn't to be the last Dahlia saw of him, as she caught a glimpse of the butterfly in the wild weeks later.

"On my way back to my car, I saw a monarch butterfly flying by and I looked up and I smiled, and then as he flapped, I saw a flash of grey so I saw him, he's still out there, he's still flying, living his best life," she said on July 10.

With a heartfelt reflection, Dahlia told The Dodo: "It might be short and fleeting, but in the grand scheme of things, all of our lives are just a short blip here on earth."

Newsweek contacted Dahlia for comment.

@flosferox

Thank you for following his journey! I plan on raising more monarchs in his honor #butterflyrescue #bionicbutterfly #monarchbutterfly

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