Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

March 27, 2013

Zoo's butterfly exhibit now open

INDIANAPOLIS — A swirl of living colors now fills the Hilbert Conservatory as part of the Indianapolis Zoo's new exhibit, "Butterfly Kaleidoscope," presented by Citizens Energy Group.

Following a two-year hiatus, butterflies have returned to White River Gardens as part of this all-new exhibit. Open now through Sept. 2, the exhibition includes many new features and experiences, like a giant mobile suspended overhead from the conservatory's 65-foot ceiling. The art installation was commissioned specifically for this exhibit to mimic the vibrant hues and fluttering motion of butterflies. Together with soft melodies and the soothing sounds of flowing water fountains, the conservatory provides a relaxing getaway.

The highlight of the exhibit is the nearly 40 species of native and exotic butterflies. They include the blue morpho, giant owl, zebra longwing, and monarch. Several times each day, hundreds of these winged insects will be released from an emergence chamber in the center of the conservatory and flutter away. Throughout the season, about 13,000 will be released into the conservatory, so guests can expect some close encounters as thousands of free-flying butterflies float nearby and one might even land on them.

Other new features include colored glass windows depicting the butterfly's metamorphosis, handmade glass feeders, and build-a-butterfly activities for younger visitors. Guests looking for ways to bring home the beauty of Butterfly Kaleidoscope can be inspired by the native butterfly garden just outside the conservatory.

The Hilbert Conservatory, including the Butterfly Kaleidoscope exhibit, and White River Gardens are included with regular zoo admission. For more information, visit the website at IndianapolisZoo.com.

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