It was one of two butterflies to emerge from it's chrysalis this morning.
The first to emerge was a perfect female, who popped out of her chrysalis just as she should. She was perky and soon showed signs of being ready to fly.
The other butterfly, however, only partly emerged from its chrysalis. It's wings and legs were out, however its abdomen was still firmly lodged in the chrysalis. It was struggling hard, with all its might, yet the abdomen wouldn't budge. The wings were still curled and we were concerned that they might dry out too far to fill out smoothly.
We got to work with tweezers and gently pulled back as much of the chrysalis as we could. This was not easy because the butterfly struggled and struggled to pull itself out, as we tried to gain some purchase on it's front section without doing any damage. We worked on separating the chrysalis away and then, with one last hard wrench, we pulled it firmly and it pulled itself free.
It seemed the butterfly was quite intact, although its wings were still very curled. We set the butterfly back to hanging loose, on a small cube of foam rubber, in the hope that its wings would uncurl and fill out. To help the process I sprayed his wings several times with fine puffs of water. I checked back 5 minutes later and was pleased to see the wings were filling out, although there was still large curl in the right upper wing. I checked again 10 minutes later and noted, to my absolute delight, that both wings had completely filled out without any visible curling.
You can see from my picture, above, just how lovely that was.
We had to go out, so I placed the butterfly outside under cover and in the shade, still hanging from the foam. When we arrived back, 6 hours later, our little miracle butterfly had flown.
What absolute exhilaration and delight we felt.
So, yes, we saved the life of a beautiful male Monarch Butterfly today. If felt wonderful.