- Created on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 19:28
- Written by IVN
Escondido, California - The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is ready to kick off its biggest annual event, Butterfly Jungle. The popular annual event opens on Saturday, March 16, and runs through Sunday, April 7.
During Butterfly Jungle, the Safari Park transforms the walk-through aviary of its Hidden Jungle into a temporary home for 30 species of beautiful and exotic butterflies. The butterflies highlighted this year hail from four parts of the world; Africa, Asia and Central and South America. Species that can be seen in the exhibit include the zebra long wing, orange-barred tiger and Grecian shoemaker. Old favorites such as the monarch, giant swallowtail and blue morpho also will be charming guests.
The delicate creatures not only enchant guests but have a great conservation message. The butterflies come to the Safari Park in the pupa stage from countries like El Salvador, Costa Rica and Columbia. Butterfly farming is a sustainable use of the rain forest in countries like Costa Rica, where the first shipment of 500 butterfly pupae came from. By importing thousands of butterfly pupae every spring, the Safari Park is promoting conservation of rain forest habitat in these countries. Butterfly farming allows farmers to leave their land in its pristine natural form and harvest butterflies as a sustainable occupation.
"By supporting these local habitats, the people there know they can make a living out of the livelihood that we support," Animal Care Manager Don Sterner said.
Butterflies are attracted to bright colors, so guests should wear colorful clothing to increase the chance of butterflies landing on their clothes or hat. When the insects do land, guests should enjoy the close encounter but remember not to touch the insects. New this year, guests can use identification cards in the exhibit to help determine the names of many of the species.
Guests are encouraged to document their Butterfly Jungle experience this year by posting photos to Instagram using the hashtag #butterflyjungle. The Safari Park will be looking at guest photos and selecting an Instagram photo winner each week.
Butterfly Jungle is included with admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.