In the middle of the Life Centre you will find its colourful, fluttering heart: the Butterfly House, home to dozens of winged creatures, flying erratically from leaf to leaf.
Flashes of orange, translucent panes and eagle eyes blink into sight and then disappear. Though the scene of countless butterflies flitting around this bubble of lushness decorated with waterfalls and fountains may sound like a dream, this is a scientific experiment (one of Mashpi’s most successful) guarded over by four team members.
Many a process (and even more hours) goes into the Butterfly House, with each species collected from all over the reserve. Once it’s in the cage, it is observed, it’s eggs studiously collected by picking them off the backs of leaves. Then, each of their life stages documented, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly.
Meet one of the men who keep the life cycles of these beautiful creatures in full flow.