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K-State Today

September 5, 2012

Insect Zoo anniversary celebration offers family-friendly fun

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University's Insect Zoo will celebrate its 10-year anniversary from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. The event is part of the university's Family Day activities.

The Insect Zoo, housed in the Glenn H. Beck Dairy Barn at the K-State Gardens, 1500 Denison Ave., is part of the university's department of entomology.

Anniversary celebration activities will offer fun and learning opportunities for the whole family. Visitors can meet Willie the Wildcat, participate in butterfly releases and sample insect cuisine, among other activities.

The Insect Zoo had humble beginnings, offering only limited hours and exhibits when it opened in fall 2002. Over the last 10 years it has grown to include many ever-changing exhibits of live insects and interactive displays.

"We want to celebrate the accomplishments of our first 10 years of operation as well as provide a vision for the possibilities in the next 10 years," said Kiffnie Holt, Insect Zoo coordinator.

The zoo has hosted more than 50,000 visitors since official record keeping began in 2006, and had more than 1,000 visitors in June 2012 alone. Some of the zoo's most popular exhibits are the Leaf-Cutter Ant exhibit, the Tropical Night House and the Honey Bee Observation Hive.

In addition to educating zoo visitors, staff and volunteers also participate in outreach programs in the Manhattan community, as well as partnering with the Manhattan Sunset Zoo for educational outreach programs throughout the state.

The Insect Zoo is open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $2 per person for walk-in visitors and $3 per person for guided tours, which must be scheduled a week in advance. For more information about the Insect Zoo or to schedule a guided tour, call 785-532-BUGS.