BUTTERFLY and bee populations have paid tribute to Muhammad Ali and thanked him for his gracious compliment.
The flying insects said that after the late heavyweight champion compared himself to them in 1974 it had boosted their public profile and given their communities ‘great pride’.
Tom Logan, a butterfly from Stevenage, said: “We used to be thought of as rather fancy and insubstantial. After Ali compared himself to us, other insects realised that butterflies are not just decorative, but that we have power and grace.
“It gave us a lot more respect and influence in the insect world and you can’t put a price on that.”
Martin Bishop, a bumble bee from Hatfield, said: “Bees are not naturally aggressive. We just want to go about our business. But Ali created the idea of bees being beautiful, determined and a bit dangerous and edgy.
“It’s incredibly cool being a bee. He started that.”