Beautiful Butterflies Back at Lake Superior Zoo

The Butterfly House Exhibit will Remain Open until Mid-September at the Lake Superior Zoo

DULUTH, Minn. – After months of cold and snow and back by popular demand, butterflies have fluttered their way back into the Lake Superior Zoo for yet another summer.

Mother Nature forced opening day of the exhibit to be pushed back, but it’s not stopping visitors from flocking to local attraction.


“People are enchanted when they come here,” said Christina Wagner, Butterfly House coordinator at the Lake Superior Zoo.

Painted ladies and pretty flowers are helping bring thousands of people through the Lake Superior Zoo this season, while they receive a greater love for nature.

“It brings in thousands of people and gives them this immersive experience,” said Haley Hedstrom, Director of Marketing and Membership and the Zoo. “We have a full time butterfly house coordinator and then we have the educators on staff.”

In 2017 the Lake Superior Zoo received a grant of $75,000 dollars for the butterfly exhibit from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Grant.

“If we take care of our planet we’re taking care of these marvelous creatures,” said Hedstrom.

This year, Mother Nature kept the creatures from developing early.

“They kind of kicked out our Guyenne pig Bucky out of his exhibit and we had some butterflies hanging out in there,” said Hedstrom.

The delicate residents at the zoo, taking some time inside to grow and develop before greeting visitors.

“They have four stages, the eggs turning into the caterpillar, the caterpillar turning into the chrysalis and then into the butterfly,” said Wagner.

Wagner is honored to be spending her summer educating folks young and old when the wander in the net structure.

“If we are able to inspire visitors and know more about butterflies when they came in as opposed to going out, then we’ve accomplished our goal; that’s a success,” said Wagner. “Butterflies need on average about two hours to push out that fluid through their veins. They come out of the chrysalis very crumpled up.”

Wagner’s wealth of knowledge is contagious. She says since the opening last year, members in the community have donated pollinator bouquets, and financial donations have also fluttered in.
“They’re very important to the ecosystem and American agriculture as well,” said Wagner.

An important part of the summer season, also proving to be beneficial for the overall footprint of the Lake Superior Zoo.

“We are a small town and for the size of Duluth, we’re very lucky to have the Zoo that we do and to be able to bring the butterflies here and give even just a mini experience of what Como Zoo has to add to your Duluth trip or if you live in the area. It’s something where you don’t have to drive a few hours just to be in an immersive experience like this,” said Hedstrom.

The Butterfly House will be open during normal Zoo hours until mid-September.

The Zoo will be getting more species of native butterflies in as the summer goes on.

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