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Butterfly Creek Butterfly Creek News 2017

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by driftaguy, 12 Jul 2017.

  1. driftaguy

    driftaguy Well-Known Member

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    Several new exhibits are coming to Butterfly Creek in 2017. The project is called Kiwi Forest and Friends and will include a Kiwi Forest (Kiwi house), Asian Small-Clawed Otters and platform over wetlands for eel feeding.

    The Kiwi Forest will contain two Northern Brown Kiwi. There will be a native exhibit building that will house giant weta and skinks. A bush clearing and cave will be home to cave weta.

    Butterfly Creek will have five Asian Small-Clawed Otters.

    Source: Educational Visits and School Groups | Butterfly Creek
     
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  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Huh. A kiwi house is not an expected addition for Butterfly Creek!
     
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  3. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I visited Butterfly Creek earlier this week, in the late afternoon on a drizzly day, so despite being school holidays the place was fairly empty. Prices are relatively high, but they do have student prices, as well as a complex array of different combo deals that take in various parts of the attraction. I went for the "All Animals excluding Dinosaur Kingdom" option.

    The indoor parts of Butterfly Creek are largely as they were on my only previous visit, in 2011, with entrance through the gift shop and into the aquaria. This is a room with two tanks, one very long containing a variety of freshwater fishes from Central and South America, and the other a tropical coral reef tank. Both contain standard pet trade fishes, but aren't at all bad.

    Doors lead through to the main attraction - the butterfly glasshouse. This is a large area, traversed on a boardwalk above and through lush vegetation and many butterflies. Also free-roaming in the hall are Java sparrows and Bengalese finch, and perhaps still quail (though I saw none). There are also standalone exhibits for eastern blue-tongue skink (two exhibits), leopard gecko and cotton-top tamarin. The latter was new since my last visit, and while good is rather on the small side.

    [​IMG]

    The next room houses the majority of the zoo's reptile collection, at least by weight. The two saltwater crocodile exhibits look unchanged, though still fine. The adjacent reptile room has been emptied a little - it now holds eastern water dragon and inland bearded dragon in two nice, large exhibits. There are no longer American alligators on display in here.

    The final indoor area here, the bug room, is also largely unchanged, with a similar line up, although the tarantula diversity has declined - just Chilean rose and Costa Rican zebra tarantulas were on display. The wetapunga was unfortunately a no-show. But overall still a good line-up of invertebrates - probably the best in the country.

    Outside, the only animal attraction is Buttermilk Farm, which houses Arapawa goats, kunekunes, alpaca, sheep, chickens and ducks. This is actually quite a cool little farm area, and as I hadn't seen this before I had a good look around. The goat climbing frame is particularly impressive. There is also a barn area, with a decent aviary for rainbow lorikeets outside, and then a set of yards and cages inside for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchilla and also a sulphur-crested cockatoo. At the back of the farm area is a small yard for tammar wallaby, and a large aviary containing a range of exotic parrots, including African grey parrot, blue and gold macaw, turquosine parrot, Indian ringneck, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo (not seen), superb parrot, eclectus parrot, and Bourke’s parakeet. These latter two exhibits are seemingly new exhibits, and the aviary in particular is a good addition, although its location in the farmyard is a little odd.

    [​IMG]

    Overall, Butterfly Creek was looking very good, although it is still a relatively small and expensive attraction (although not more expensive than most private NZ zoos I guess).

    The upcoming additions will definitely be a great improvement in the collection. They will change the layout somewhat, with exit through the gift shop no longer required. Instead, a path will start from the reptile room, actually through the current bearded dragon exhibit (which will presumably be removed) and lead down to an area with wetapunga and native skinks. From here, visitors will enter a kiwi house, on the other side of which will be a small-clawed otter enclosure, and an area for spotting native eels in the existing lake. The path then enters the Dinosaur Kingdom (animatronic display, which also includes American alligators), and working through that will bring visitors to the cafe area. So this will be a more complete and interesting collection, and will likely attract international visitors - Butterfly Creek is a short walk from the Auckland airport, and can be reached via free shuttle, so is an option for passengers transiting through or on day of arrival/departure.
     
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  4. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update/review on Butterfly Creek @zooboy28, I've never visited the place but will have to check it out sometime; especially once the kiwi house and otter exhibit open. Are you going to/did you visit the zoo while in Auckland? :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, or on the two new exhibits which have opened there in the last year or so.
     
  5. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks @ZooBoyNZ, it will definitely be worth a visit once the new areas open. I visited Auckland Zoo in March, and saw the new exhibits (Australian extension and meerkat area), but I haven;t had a chance to write that up yet, and my photos from that trip are all in Australia (I am still in NZ), so I can't remember enough to write it up at the moment. I will try to do so in the next month or so. :)
     
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  6. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good @zooboy28. I found this review (Auckland Zoo - Te Wao Nui Review) that you did of Te Wao Nui to be very well thought out and interesting, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the two new exhibits as well as what you thought of the zoo overall - of course only when/if you have the time to do so. :D
     
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  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    The kiwi have arrived at Butterfly Creek (at the end of last month) and will be going on display in December:

    Watch: Pair of 'feisty' kiwi birds welcomed to new home near Auckland Airport

    Just down the road from Auckland Airport, the arrival of the kiwis mean Auckland Zoo is no longer the only place to see our native bird in the city.

    Opi and Tapu, Brown Kiwis from Otorohanga, made the two and a half hour journey from Otorohanga this morning and have since been settling into their brand new enclosure.


    The male and female, both only a year old, are the first kiwis to join Butterfly Creek.

    Kiwi House manager Rebecca Moyle said she hopes to breed chicks from Tapu in the future.

    "Tapu is quite feisty, she's got a bit of an attitude," Moyle said.

    "Kiwi is often what people think of when they come to New Zealand.

    "I think a lot of people they'd be disappointed if they left not having seen kiwi so it's a great opportunity for them and also those who are leaving and haven't seen them on their travels."

    The birds will have a month to settle in before the kiwi enclosure opens to the public in December.
     
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  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    The otters have also arrived, a bit of news which I missed even when noticing that the kiwi had arrived (the post above this one). There aren't any news articles that I saw, but the zoo anounced it on their various social media outlets on 16 November as having arrived that week. They will be on display middle of next month.

    There are five otters, but I don't know where they came from (their names are Asia, Mai, Charvi, Kiri and Yash).*

    EDIT: they are from Perth Zoo: see below.
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2017
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  9. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Five is a great number, should be an active display. Presumably they are siblings - would be great to know where they have arrived from.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Found it - from Perth Zoo. Asia is Perth's female breeder (former, obviously; her mate was named Tuan and they had several litters at Perth). Kiri and Yash are male offspring. Charvi and Mai are female offspring. Those last four are all from one litter, born December 2013.

    For those who like names: Kiri means "mountain peak" in Khmer, Yash means "glory/victory" in Sanskrit, Charvi means "beautiful" in Sanskrit, and Mai means "plum flower" in Vietnamese. That's from Perth Zoo at the time they named the pups (although they used "Indian" which I changed to Sanskrit because "Indian" is a pretty vague term).
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2017
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  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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