Teen urged to return rare moth stolen from Butterfly Farm - The Leamington Observer

Teen urged to return rare moth stolen from Butterfly Farm

Laura Kearns 17th Oct, 2018   0

A TEENAGER is being urged to return a rare moth stolen from Stratford Butterfly Farm.

The Atlas moth, one of the world’s largest, hatched from a cocoon taken from the Swan’s Nest Lane attraction earlier this week.

Paige Firkins is understood to be keeping the moth in a cage. The 19-year-old from Birmingham has been blasted on social media after posting a picture of the insect, which has been liked, shared and commented on more than 2,000 times.

In the post, which has since been deleted, she wrote: “So we kinda took the biggest caccoon (sic) from the butterfly farm and out came the biggest butterfly I’ve ever seen. I gave birth to a butterfly!”

The Butterfly Farm has urged Paige to return the moth immediately as it only has a lifespan of around a week.

A spokesman said: “What Paige has done is completely irresponsible, cruel and criminal.

“She needs to return the moth immediately to Stratford Butterfly Farm. It is a female and will start to lay eggs very soon.

“We are hoping Paige will see this post and do the right thing and return our beautiful Atlas moth.”

But commenting on her now-deleted post, Paige said she was looking after the insect and feeding it – despite the moth not having a mouth, and living on energy reserves obtained from food as a caterpillar.

Warwickshire Police said it had received a call about the theft and was asking for anyone who saw the cocoon being taken to call them on 101.

The Atlas moth is native to South East Asia and has a wingspan of around 25cm.

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