October 7, 2008By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Luxurious Langham Hotel Auckland Welcomes Weta (the Native New Zealand Insect)
This fierce-looking insect (pictured at right) is getting a VIP welcome at Auckland's swanky Langham Hotel. As part of its "Guests of the Earth" environmental program, the five-star property recently unveiled a "Wetarium"-- New Zealand's first weta habitat-- for the Auckland Tree Weta. The only New Zealand hotel to have achieved Green Globe certification through its environmental initiatives to reduce energy consumption, save water and increase the recycling of waste, the Langham Auckland is celebrated around the world for combining elegance with environmental sustainability. (Case in point: The hotel's new fleet of hybrid limousines which are the world's first V8 hybrids.) The glass-enclosed "Wetarium" is located outside the hotel where the weta are housed in a in a native New Zealand habitat. Visitors can check out an indigenous insect that predates the dinosaur and learn about the weta's important role in the surrounding ecosystem.
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