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Police search for woman who stole butterfly in Cincinnati

Posted at 11:17 AM, Apr 18, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Police are looking for help finding a woman who took a blue morpho butterfly from Krohn Conservatory's special exhibit at about 5 p.m. Sunday. 

"I have never heard of anyone stealing a live butterfly from a butterfly show," said University of Cincinnati biology professor Stephen Matter Wednesday evening. 

The Menelaus blue morpho, which is prized by collectors for its vibrant, iridescent wing markings, lives natively in Central and South American forests. Although a news release from Cincinnati police identified it as "rare," it isn't especially, Matter said. It's just exotic by the standards of the Buckeye State.

Matter and colleague Patrick Guerra said the butterfly was likely dead by Wednesday, given its biological need for a warmer climate than the one Cincinnati has experienced since Sunday. 

Anyone with information about this crime or suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040 or submit an online tip at Callers may remain anonymous and may receive compensation for their information.