Walking through a giant caterpillar, visitors are immersed into a world of amazing and beautiful butterflies and moths from around the globe. Lose yourself in the rich variety of species as they delicately flutter around you, seeking out plants on which to feed and rest.
ZSL London Zoo’s Butterfly Paradise exhibit features species from several major regions including Africa, South-east Asia and Central and South America. Visitors can learn more about the conservation of this diverse insect group, from species recovery programmes, community-based habitat protection initiatives and climate change issues.
In 1981 ZSL London Zoo created the first exhibit developed exclusively for invertabrates. It featured mainly butterflies and moths - making it the world's first butterfly house!
Butterfly Paradise itself was launched in May 2006 and it showcases a vast array of butterfly species in a carefully created ‘walk though’ environment, offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about life cycles, biodiversity and climate change.
Hundreds of butterflies have been chosen to represent 100,000 species that exist on the planet. All butterflies are forest-species from the shrinking tropics of South-East Asia, Central and South America and East Africa.
One of the most interesting aspects of Butterfly Paradise is the ever changing environment that is obvious not only in the development of the flora and fauna, but also in that it illustrates the entire lifecycle of a butterfly.
Alongside the free flying butterflies in the exhibit, there is also a pupae holding room where visitors can see a vast array of beautiful pupae develop and butterflies eventually emerge. ZSL London Zoo breeds some species, but most do arrive as pupae, from butterfly farms in native areas. It gives community business a sustainable income that does not do further damage to the forests.
Highlights to look out for include tiny butterfly eggs, giant caterpillars and butterfly feeding stations.