Man Singlehandedly Saved A Rare Butterfly Species

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Man Singlehandedly Saved A Rare Butterfly Species

If your day job was looking after the more than 20,000 animals at the California Academy of Sciences, you'd probably like to relax after a hard day of work. But Tim Wong, an aquatic biologist, does something much more rewarding on his nights and weekends.

Since he was a child, Wong has collected and raised butterflies. It's a rewarding hobby, but it also requires a lot of patience and attention.

Wong put those skills to good use when he helped bring back a rare butterfly species to his city.

The beautiful California pipevine butterflies disappeared from San Francisco after the plant they love (the pipevine) became less common.

When Wong decided to raise them in his backyard, he had to do a lot of work. First, there was no place nearby to get any pipevine plants. He eventually managed to get a few clippings from his city's botanical gardens, then grow new plants at home.

Next, he had to build an enclosure to protect the plants and butterflies from bad weather and predators. He even had to drive to another town and pick up the caterpillars himself, since there were none nearby.

Even after everything was set up, caring for these butterflies became a full time job for Wong. He has to collect the eggs and raise them inside his house to keep them safe, and protect the plants and bugs in his garden.

Once his caterpillars start changing into butterflies, it can take anywhere from two week to two years to hatch, and he's responsible for them the whole time.

Thankfully, all of his hard work is starting to pay off. Wong has raised thousands of the butterflies, and they're starting to be a common sight in San Francisco.

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