To say this week has been a flurry of activity would be an egregious understatement. With animals arriving every day, exhibits going in, and signage being installed, we’ve all been hustling to prepare the space for our first field trips (starting next week!) and soon, to welcome visitors like you!

While every aspect of readying the new space is a thrilling addition, nothing compares to the excitement of receiving our latest bug ambassadors. Many of the animals we’ve been acquiring are species that require permits from the USDA, meaning they cannot be kept as pets and need special containment features to house them. That includes most of our beetles and our tropical butterfly species. 

“Containment” doesn’t just mean a fancy lab, either. While our lab was built with USDA permitting requirements in mind, there is also a specific protocol to follow when receiving our new animals. That includes consistent handwashing, donning lab coats, and unpacking new arrivals in a special containment box.

Once the new arrivals have been inspected, they are moved into their new homes. For most of our animals, that means a terrarium. But our butterflies arrive in their chrysalid stage and are pinned to boards and hung in an incubation space. There, they will eventually emerge as adults, after which they are moved into the butterfly house.

As always, stay tuned for more updates as the new space continues to grow. Before we know it, we’ll be ready to welcome our first guests through our front doors. (We just have a few things to finish first.)