Butterfly Jungle opens in two weeks, and the first group of butterfly pupae—from South America—has just arrived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Many shipments of these soon-to-emerge butterflies will be delivered from around the world during the course of this annual event, which showcases the beauty of these natural wonders and helps ensure butterflies’ continued survival in their native habitats.
As each shipment comes in, animal care staff carefully unpack the pupae, sort and count them. Then, they will carefully attach each one inside a butterfly emerging box, where the pupae will remain until butterflies are ready to emerge—sometimes within hours or days. Once the butterflies emerge from their chrysalides, they will be transported in a specially designed container and released into the Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle aviary.
During Butterfly Jungle, Safari Park guests will get an incomparable close-up view of these unique creatures, as thousands of butterflies from more than 20 species flitter around them in the walk-through aviary. Hidden Jungle also is home to lush greenery and many exotic birds—including red-crested turacos, African pygmy geese and beautiful sunbirds. Guests are encouraged to wear bright colors and move slowly to attract the butterflies. Butterflies may land on a shoulder, head or anywhere else they desire!
— San Diego Zoo Safari (@sdzsafaripark) February 26, 2016
Many butterfly species face continued threats of habitat loss, due to clearing of rain forests for ranching and farming. Exhibits such as Butterfly Jungle help promote sustainable habitats for butterflies, as farmers in the butterflies’ natural range support their families by raising butterfly pupae for zoological exhibits worldwide, instead of clearing forest land.
Butterfly Jungle runs for four weeks—March 12 to April 10—with extended Safari Park hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Butterfly Jungle is included in Safari Park admission. Due to the popularity of this event, priority butterfly viewing is now available, for a nominal fee.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.