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Your Chicago: Judy Istock Butterly Haven

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One of the residents of the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. (CBS)

One of the residents of the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. (CBS)

Rob Johnson Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson is the weekday anchor of the CBS 2 Chicago evening...
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(CBS) – The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum boasts many must-see sights, from the outdoor nature walk to the “Look In” Lab to the Nature of Eating exhibit.

But it’s the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven that really generates the oohs and aahs. The tropical wonderland has been around as long as the museum itself, for 14 years.

“At any given time we will have over 1,000 butterflies in this space. There will be upwards of 40 to 50 species in here,” Doug Taron, curator of biology at the museum, tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.

From all over the world, they have names like Banded Tigers from the Americas, Rice Paper Butterflies and Chocolate Pansies from Asia, Citrus and White Lady Swallowtails from Africa.

It all starts in the chrysalis room, where hundreds of these chrysalises are delivered weekly. That’s the post caterpillar, pre-butterfly stage.

“My favorite part is watching the adult butterflies emerge from the chrysalis. It’s something I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of times now and it never gets old,” Taron says.

Haning Hughes from Ohio was impressed during her visit.

“I’ve been smiling the whole time when I’m here. It’s just beautiful and all kinds of big and small, different colors, and it just makes me happy,” she says.

For more information about the museum and its butterfly habitat, click here.

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