Sunday, June 8, 2014

Butterflies at the Zoo

My parents are now "Jaguar Members" of Brevard Zoo, meaning they (and in turn Levi and I) get access to special events and behind-the-scene events.    We were some of the first to see the new butterfly exhibit, get a tour, and release some butterflies! 

First, we walked through the fairy and frog and troll themed area.  There is a little section of the zoo where they put different displays, usually plants and things like that, but this one was really neat and very kid friendly.   

Fairy houses with tarantulas living in them:

Design your own fairy house/garden.  These are at kid height, and are really cute.  The kids can use various pots, wood pieces, pine cones, stones, grass and other bits to build little houses.  Kind of a sensory bin/small world play center.  

They have a big toad (frog?) set up in the center.  They are poisonous ones!   Difficult to get a picture though.   It was funny because a volunteer was in there to change the water, and had to wait for someone to bring a bucket for her to dump it in.  Its a very low enclosure so she was ducking in an odd position for a long time at the same time as everyone in our small group was there to see the frogs! 

There is a troll "toll booth" with a book of riddles for kids to read for people to "pay the toll" to get past/out of the section.  Behind is a secret tea party area just for kids!   There are dishes and things for them to play with, great for imaginative play.

A troll

The zoo uses local artists to decorate for themed events.  This artist uses recycled materials to make sculptures.

Turtles are made from bowls, pans, and spoons!

These I thought would be fun for kids to make as well. 

Then we got to the butterfly enclosure.   They gave us guides about all of the native butterflies and butterfly plants.  The zoo uses live butterflies for the initial set up of the exhibit, but will only get chrysalis for the rest.  They are all local as well.     They put signs in the enclosure so we could try and identify the butterflies.

Levi trying to id this butterfly.

My dad (Buddy) asking questions in the background!

Helping the butterflies out of the net.  Levi got to reach in and get out dozens of them. 
 Two at once!

My camera was cooperating, I got a few nice pics.

We stopped to see the meerkats before heading home to go to swim team practice, my mom hadn't seen them yet.   Levi was pleased that they were inside the tube.  There were two in there having a wrestling match!  I tried to get them on video but missed it of course. 

But I got them on camera! 

We are looking forward to more Jaguar Society events at the zoo, it was interesting to have someone walk us through an exhibit and answer questions instead of simply going their on our own.  

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