Now that Butterflies LIVE! is over, for this year anyway, butterfly curators are working hard to roundup all the butterflies in the exhibit. Many visitors ask us how we accomplish such a daunting task. Well, it involves the lowering of temperatures in the exhibit, lots of patience, a keen eye and some acrobatic skills! Here’s a behind-the-scenes look:
Butterflies need their body temperature to be at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit and they heavily rely on environmental factors to warm themselves up, they are cold blooded after all. We lower the temperature in the exhibit, so the butterflies can’t fly, making them easier to capture. Of course, there are a few butterflies who warm themselves up enough for a lengthy chase around the exhibit!
Once we net or safely handle a butterfly, we package it in special envelope for the journey to its new home. These envelopes are placed in a box, which is then placed in a cooler with an ice pack, which is placed in another box, and made ready for shipping. Then, we say our goodbyes to the 122 butterfly friends captured, who will find themselves in a wonderful new home at Tucson Botanical Gardens tomorrow.