Monarch butterfly reaches Texas via Southwest

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A lagging monarch butterfly has made the trip from Albany, N.Y., to Texas with help from a commercial plane and an insect lover.

Passenger Maraleen Manos-Jones on Monday carefully transported the butterfly on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Antonio. She kept the delicate butterfly in a padded, ice-cooled package before its release at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Manos-Jones first spotted the female butterfly in late September when it was still mid-metamorphosis at the gardens of her Shokan, Ulster County, home.

Manos-Jones realized that by Oct. 1 it was too cold for the newly emerged monarch to head south on its own to winter in Mexico. She contacted Dallas-based Southwest, which agreed to fly Manos-Jones and the butterfly to San Antonio for free.