The Penang Butterfly Farm is more than just a tourist attraction. It is set up as a 'live museum' to educate the public as well as a research centre to develop breeding methods. The Farm's founder David Goh explains the philosophy behind its operation
Butterflies are beautiful creatures of the wild. The visitor to the Penang Butterfly Farm, finding himself surrounded by a myriad of fluttering butterflies within a seemingly natural setting, is likely to think himself in a sort of enchanted wilderness, bejeweled with the colorful gems of creation.
The main attraction of the Butterfly Farm is undoubtedly the free flying papilions in the enormous enclosure. The visitor can inspect the butterflies at close quarters as they flit around their favorite nectar plants. The exhibition of selected insects and reptiles are also crowd drawers. The visitor, having traversed this complex of displays ends up in a souvenir shop selling butterfly-related paraphernalia.
Today, the Penang Butterfly Farm is the first tropical butterfly farm ever set up in the tropical world, with an average flying population of 4000 Malaysian butterflies of 120 different species, including the rare Indian Leafl (Kallima paralekta) and the endangered Yellow Bird wing (Troides helena). Probably the most famous of Malaysian butterflies is the Rajah Brooke's Bird wing of the Papilionidae family. First discovered in Borneo in 1855 by A. R. Wallace, it was named after the first British Rajah of Sarawak.