Live butterfly exhibitions are still not as well known as zoos and aviaries, although the first ever live butterfly exhibition was set up in 1976 in Guernsey. The Penang Butterfly Farm was set up in 1986 on a small plot at the end of Batu Ferringhi in Teluk Bahang to introduce the public to the life cycle and habitats of live butterflies, as a research and breeding centre and a place of recreation. As the Malay Peninsula is home to more than one thousand species of butterflies, it was timely that a farm to popularise and breed butterflies was established. Today, the butterfly farm, with over 4,000 Malaysian butterflies from 120 species in all colours, shapes and sizes, including some rare and endangered species such as the Indian Leaf and the Yellow Bird Wing butterflies, are displayed in natural-seeming landscapes in large, free-flying enclosures. Visitors can come into contact with famous Malaysian butterflies such as the Rajah Brooke’s Bird Wing discovered in Borneo in the 19th century and named after the first British Rajah of Sarawak. Over 300 varieties of plants provide the butterflies with nectar and places to take refuge during rain and places to lay eggs.
Visitors to the farm learn to appreciate and identify butterflies through the colours, patterns, sizes and shapes of their wings. Highly coloured butterflies are naturally identified as the world’s most beautiful. Visitors also learn that what rubs off as a powder when a butterfly is touched are really the scales on their wings. They also learn about the body parts of the butterflies and their life cycle. In general, visitors get to be close to the butterflies, so close that some will land on them. Butterfly conservation is becoming necessary as their habitats are threatened by deforestation and the mission of the farm is not only to protect and breed vanishing varieties, but also to create awareness and disseminate information on butterflies and their habitats to protect threatened species and prevent habitat destruction. The butterfly farm’s other attractions include fish ponds with over 20 large species, displays of invertebrates, ducks, snapping turtles, snakes, reptiles, tortoises, free-flying birds, an insect museum, a Hide and Seek Garden and an educational and resource centre.
Although located away from the hustle and bustle of the city on the beach, the Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang is just fifteen minutes’ drive from the city centre, close enough to enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment options there. At this quality Tanjung Bungah hotel Penang offers, guests not only have access to a private, secluded beach but to a selection of spacious and comfortable guest rooms and suites befitting a resort. Take advantage of the great offers to experience this Penang hotel and enjoy a relaxing break.