It isn’t just as good, it’s better. This is what Ruth said about The Bug Zoo after her 2nd visit.
In speeches over the years, I have always told audiences that the Bug Zoo is my favorite attraction in Victoria, British Columbia, the home of Butchart Gardens. This remains true. Part of BZ’s allure, this time, was that we had a remarkable guide named Mark, a biologist who maintains his enthusiasm despite countless repeats. He assured me that the Bug Zoo regularly adds new ones for him to talk about.
Here’s proof of BZ’s appeal. This time we were traveling with Ruth’s cousin Judy and her husband Bob. In no way did Judy want to go to a place where there were bugs. She was adamant. I had to say “trust me” repeatedly and use all of my powers of persuasion to get her to go there. She loved it.
Getting it exactly right, Where magazine enthused, “Discover the amazing world of insects and arachnids at this unusual and fascinating zoo.” Where raved on about giant tropical bugs like shaking leaf insects and mentions another stellar attraction, Canada’s largest ant farm.
Completely losing one’s fear of touching creatures with antennae and many legs is not unusual at The Bug Zoo. The first time we were there, Ruth reluctantly let the entomologist put a few creepy crawlers in her hand. This time she more or less became Mark’s assistant and held everything he talked about in her hand, even the giant African millipede that I wouldn’t touch. However, one macho man in the crowd let Mark put milli on his upper lip like a moustache. Even a few children overcame their reluctance and either petted or held insects.
Mark showed us representatives of approximately 60 species of live, tropical bugs in about 1 hour while telling us about them in vivid detail. All insects breathe air. Movies give bugs an undeserved bad reputation. If a tarantula bites you, and it most likely won’t, it’s no worse than a bee sting. The desert hairy scorpion might make an adult numb for a few days at the point of contact. However, its venom could possibly kill a child. Active at night, they glow fluorescently in the dark! Some species of roaches hiss to make potential predators think they’re snakes. While there are 4,500 species of roaches, only 4 are pests. Because George Lucas is a huge bug fan, he modeled Darth Vader on the Madagascar hissing cockroach. If you look closely, and I did, you can easily see the striking resemblance. Butterflies are toxic!
Conveniently located one block from the famous, harborside Empress Hotel at 631 Courtney Street, the Bug Zoo enchants just about everyone who visits. While Judy didn’t touch a single bug, she probably will the next time.