Creepy-crawly critters are the craze at Philadelphia Insectarium

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "All of the ecosystems that we rely on would collapse without insects," said Dr. John Cambridge, CEO of the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion.

Cambridge fluttered into Philadelphia five years ago and transformed the Insectarium into an art-inspired life sciences museum to benefit students in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

"People need to respect these little things," he said. "And so, where we need to start is by having them enjoy these creatures and get to know them."

Now, three floors of exhibits welcome children and adults to experience hands-on encounters with creepy crawlers like tarantulas and millipedes.

"It's cool to see all the animals that are from all around the world," said Blake Sypulski, who visited on his day off from school.

Another main attraction at the Insectarium is the Butterfly Pavilion, a 7,000 square foot tropical rainforest setting with hundreds of butterflies crossing paths in the air.

"I saw, I think, a Swallowtail," said Jordan Ernler. "It was really pretty."

Dr. Cambridge is hoping these impressionable experiences change the stigma surrounding insects, which are already losing ground in the diversity of species across the world.

"We want to make sure that people understand the importance of these creatures and how they can act to protect them," he said.

The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is open seven days per week from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Special programming and demonstrations happen at different times on different days throughout the week. To learn more, visit their website.

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