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Former Bodybuilder Found Guilty Of Murdering Butterflies And Nothing Surprises Me Anymore

Yes, you read that headline correctly. A former bodybuilder is wanted by police under suspicion of killing butterflies.

Listen, I appreciate a good butterfly as much as the next guy. I always enjoyed seeing those big ass Morpho Butterflies in the jungle back when I studied abroad in Panama. I’d see these rare butterflies floating around when we’d go zip lining or while traveling across the country. But at no point did I think ‘holy shit, I should kill these butterflies and sell them’ because that would be a very, very dumb thing to do. Not to mention one of the lamest fucking ‘get rich quick’ scams that the mind could possibly conceive of.

Well, this story isn’t about me, is it?

Phillip Cullen is an ex-body builder from the United Kingdom who is wanted for butterfly murder. Specifically, for the murder of rare blue butterflies which were thought to have gone extinct in the wild back in the 1970s but they still existed in captivity and have since been slowly reintroduced into the wild.

It appears as if this former bodybuilder and his gold hoop earring thought they could steal, kill, and mount some of these Large Blue butterflies (Maculinea arion), pictured above and below) because they’re sold for $$$$$ on the black market as art.

Phillip Cullen, 57, was spotted armed with a child’s shrimping net chasing “the large blue” specimens at a nature reserve in Gloucestershire and was seen the next day at another prime location for the butterfly in Somerset.
When he was challenged by a volunteer at one of the reserves, Cullen claimed he was interested in parasitic wasps and orchids.
Bristol magistrates were told the large blue became extinct in the 1970s and has been reintroduced to a few sites. The panel heard there was a market for large blues, which sell for up to £300 a butterfly when they are mounted and made to look like Victorian specimens.
Cullen conceded that he traded butterflies but said he bought them from farms in Europe, set and pinned them in cases and then sold them at auction. He insisted he had not caught or killed any large blues for decades.
The lepidopterist denied capturing, killing or possessing the large blues, which are protected under conservation of habitats and species regulations but was found guilty after a trial. via The Guardian

Yup, this is one of the weirdest stories I’ve read in 2017. It’s still relatively early in the year, but I think when it’s 2017-2018 New Year’s Eve and we’re looking back at the most confusing stories of the year ‘Ex-Bodybuilder Found Guilty Of Butterfly Murder‘ will rank up there amongst the strangest.

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