Monarch butterfly conservationist has been found dead in Mexico, the second in a week


Raúl Hernández Romero, a part-time guide and conservationist at Mexico’s largest monarch butterfly reserve, was discovered dead Friday in the Mexican state of Michoacán, local authorities said in a statement released Saturday.

He was found with “blunt blows on different parts of the body and a head injury, caused by a sharp object,” the statement said.

Body of Mexican butterfly conservationist found

Romero was reported missing by relatives hours before his body was found. His wife said he was last seen January 27 when he was leaving his home in San Pedro Libertad, according to officials.

He is the second butterfly activist to be found dead in less than a week.

Friday, the body of Homero Gomez Gonzalez was found, also in Ocampo, in a retention pond. According to authorities, he also had a head injury and died of drowning. He had been missing since January 13.

Mexico’s State Commission for Human Rights said it believes Gomez, known as the “Defender of the Monarch Butterfly,” might have come into conflict with illegal loggers while carrying out his conservation work.

Michoacán state is home to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in a forested area, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) outside of Mexico City and witnesses millions of monarch butterflies during their annual migration.

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