[Review] Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary butterfly adoption kit – Health Guild News


We have seen the effects of the pandemic on companies of all kinds. For some, the burden is twofold because they not only have to manage labor costs, but they also have other live animals or creatures to care for.

An example we saw first hand was Farm in the city, who had to resort to the sale of souvenirs after the sale of tickets for locals and tourists who ended up due to the blockades. The cost of food and medicine for the animals began to feed them into their cash reserves.

It was, and still is, a desperate time for them and other similar companies, but they have been experimenting with multiple ways to make money.

Similar to Farm In The City, this sanctuary had much more than staff to care for. During the pandemic, the Melaka Butterflies and Reptiles Sanctuary saw its darkest day in its 30 years of operations.

After reducing the workforce, the butterfly eggs were left uncollected and the host plants began to dry out, leaving the caterpillars and larvae growing without resources. To avoid further losses, the team had to make the painful decision to euthanize 3,000 butterfly larvae.

But the fight is not over.

Get the audience to help

To deal with the crisis, the sanctuary is holding its first butterfly puppet adoption program. Includes several adoption sets ranging from RM20 to RM55, the most expensive selling with a plant and other materials to build a terrarium.

Once Full of Butterflies / Image Credit: Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary

Beginner adopters can opt for the RM20 set, which provides a butterfly pupa and a paddle pot with a rope attached to the lid where the pupa can be attached. After 3-10 days, a butterfly will emerge from the pupa, ready to be released into the wild.

The pupa is the third stage of the life cycle of butterflies (from eggs to caterpillar, pupa and butterfly). The pupae are raised in the laboratory of Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary, and all sales of the program will go to butterfly research and conservation in Malaysia.

In addition to offsetting the sale of lost tickets, the sanctuary is also organizing the program to address the findings of a to study of the University of Malaya. The study found that by 2100, 20% to 40% of butterfly species will become extinct in Southeast Asia due to changes in land use in the region. Encouraging this adoption, the sanctuary hopes to play a more important role in maintaining the species in the ecosystem.

I decided to be a butterfly mother

Intrigued by this initiative, I wondered how adoption works. After purchase, the set of adoptions will be shipped within 6 to 12 days. The package will include a set of clear instructions on caring for the pupa.

Being a sanctuary interested in the conservation of butterflies, it would make no sense for it to provide Malaysians with an invasive species to release. Still, I decided to relax with my own research.

In fact, I managed to confirm that the butterfly clipper (Parthenos sylvia) that it would receive is not a threat to the existing ecosystem. This species is actually native in the country and generally having more butterflies entails a healthy environment and ecosystem because they are natural pollinators and pest controllers.

Satisfied, I bought the RM20 beginner set. The cost of shipping from Melaka to Cheras, KL where I live, was approximately € 10, but would differ depending on your exact location.

My first hello

Within the RM20 beginner set I bought

The pupa went into a small plastic container, enclosed between two layers of sponge and a cotton swab as it stuck to a pin.

Knowing how delicate it was, he was very nervous when he tried to attach it to the rope that was attached to the lid, for fear that it would accidentally crush the pupa. Just like how a newborn would be treated, it was extremely soft and I refrained from touching excessively the leafy texture of the pupa of the cutting butterfly.

Once that was done, I placed the jar in my closet, away from direct sunlight, and it fogged up inside me daily. Putting a pupa in direct sunlight or not clouding it enough will cause it to be underdeveloped. In this case, it may never appear as a butterfly, dying in the cocoon.

I opted to leave the lid slightly unscrewed for more ventilation as the pupae breathe through the holes in the sides called spiracles. It is not recommended to leave the lid fully open as it may attract predators like ants. With the complete setup and a new daily routine to follow, just waiting.

The cotton protects the pupa from the container

5 days later …

The next few days were pretty messy and I didn’t notice much change. But on the fifth night, after a more detailed inspection, I noticed that the pupa was becoming translucent and that there were visible streaks, so I had the feeling that the butterfly would come soon.

Sorry for the faint night images, but you may vaguely notice the streaks that developed on the fifth day (right) compared to the first day (left)

The next morning I opened the closet to a full-fledged butterfly resting next to the pot, with its wings already dry. I was relieved and excited to see that it was developing well, but sad to have missed the final phase of the process.

With him ready to be thrown, I took him outside. As soon as we started moving, it came to life, spinning in the jar. I chose a flowery area of ​​my neighborhood as a take-off spot, thinking I would let it eat right away as well.

Contrary to what I suppose, however, it is rare for butterflies to eat anything the same day they come out. Probably why he left the flowers early to explore his new world.

I am a proud butterfly mother!

All in all, I was very proud that its metamorphosis was a success under the care of my beginners. This adoption program provided me with an experience I might never have had, and the tools and instructions provided were enough to guide me.

One thing to keep in mind is that because it is a living organism, there will be unpredictability. You may not end up with a butterfly for several reasons, even sometimes even if you have taken the utmost care.

If this happens, the sanctuary is open to replace the pupa with another for free, but you should handle the shipping charges.

As mentioned above, the goal of the program is to ensure that the species can continue to thrive in the wild. Releasing the butterfly after it emerges from the cocoon is part of the process. The sets sold by the sanctuary do not provide you with the proper equipment to keep the butterfly as a pet.

Butterflies need enough space to fly and eat to stay indoors. Unless you are an experienced butterfly keeper or caregiver during your time, you are likely to lack the knowledge and tools needed to keep a butterfly as a pet. Therefore, it is best to follow the sanctuary’s instructions and release the butterflies once they have emerged.

For those with more advanced knowledge and who have the necessary equipment to care for multiple pupae at once, Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary offers a set of 2 pupae for RM30 without the jar. Clipper butterflies aren’t the only species you can get from the sanctuary, but the seasons will affect the species you get.

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Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary also allows you to “adopt“Turtles, snakes, frogs, peacocks, alligators, etc.

However, adopting these animals is much more expensive and their butterfly adoption program is much cheaper and more attractive because of their interactivity. In the short term, it’s an initiative that could cushion the pandemic hit the sanctuary, but it’s probably not a sustainable move.

Because the butterfly adoption experience is so ephemeral, you may not find it affordable. Personally, I liked it, but it’s not likely to adopt another pupa soon, and many other novice adopters may feel the same way.

Therefore, the sanctuary may have to look for other revenue-generating currents if the pandemic continues to rag. With limited staff on hand, perhaps one way would be to maintain simple, educational educational broadcasts that people can afford to attend. It’s a strategy Farm In The City has been trying for a few months now and seems to be generating decent interest.

  • You can learn more about the Melaka Butterflies and Reptiles Sanctuary here.
  • You can read about more Malaysian social enterprises we have discussed here.

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