Exotic butterflies on the way to Roanoke's Science Museum of Wes - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Exotic butterflies on the way to Roanoke's Science Museum of Western Virginia

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Visit the butterfly garden in downtown Roanoke and you will spot mourning floats or painted ladies which are native to the U.S.  You won't find exotic butterflies anywhere except the gift shop, but that will change in the next two weeks.

CLICK HERE for more butterfly photos

Jim Rollings, Executive Director Science Museum of Western VA says, "Our new permit will allow us to bring in exotic butterflies, which are about half the cost of the locals."

The museum budgets one thousand dollars a week for butterfly shipments.

Anna Umpleby is visiting her grandparents from Illinois and loves what the garden already has to offer.  Visitors like Umpleby are sure to like the future changes.

Rollings explains, "So when you look around there will be butterflies everywhere.  The ability to have three or four hundred instead of one to two hundred butterflies is a big difference for us."

The butterfly lab went through specific modifications to get federal approval.  A stainless steel emergence case was made for the cocoons.  Some exotic butterflies that come into the country may be carrying some little bugs with them and the case makes sure they can't get out.  The other side of the emergence case is on display so people can see how butterflies begin. The creatures typically live from three days to two weeks.

A ten dollar ticket gets an adult into the museum and an extra four dollars gets you inside the butterfly garden.  Now that those dollars will go further, the hope is for a successful future where the sky is the limit.

Rollings says the exotic butterfly permit approval means they now have 150 species to choose from.  The first exotic butterflies should be flying around in two weeks.  He says, right now there are about sixty six exotic butterfly displays in the country but he says that number is constantly going up.

Sources of income for the museum ranked in order of importance:

1. Ticket Sales

2 Donations & Grants

3 Memberships

4 Corporate Sponsorships

Link to Science Museum of Western Virginia

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