The Detroit Zoo's butterfly garden, closed for repairs until early summer
ROYAL OAK, Mich - The Detroit Zoo's famous butterfly garden, known as the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, has temporarily closed.
The building housing them dates back to 1927, so repairs need to be made.
Besides roofing and of course, landscaping work, a living wall will also be installed. According to the Detroit Zoo, the gallery houses hundreds of free-flying butterflies.
Each week, the zoo purchases about 250 butterfly pupae (chrysalises) from growers in Central America. The butterflies are raised by growers who maintain their own breeding stock; they are not taken from the wild but are part of an effort to promote butterfly conservation programs in those countries.
The garden is home to approximately 25 different species of butterflies, and kept at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal temperature for butterflies to take flight. Butterflies are cold-blooded and will not fly until the temperature is warm enough for them to become active.
Butterflies have exoskeletons, which is their own skeleton on the outside of their bodies. This is so that they keep water inside their bodies and not dry out. Butterflies spend much of their lifespan as eggs, caterpillars and chrysalises, only being winged adults for typically less than a month.
The immersive habitat is open year-round and is free with Zoo admission. The zoo is hoping to have this gallery reopened by early this summer.