If you think the tiny bowls of water betta fish are kept in at the pet store are cruel, then you’ll be shocked to find out how they are shipped.
A user on reddit posted detailed pictures under the title: “I work for a pet store. This is how betta fish are delivered from the vendor.”
Many commented on the post asking questions like how many survive what appears to be a horrible and stressful shipping process. The original poster responded, “It’s true that DOAs are rare. But during the coldest/warmest months of the year, I’ve seen anywhere from 5-75% die days after from stress-induced fungal infections.”
To those who are wondering how a fish can survive in such little water, betta fish have the ability to breathe atmospheric air due to an organ called the labyrinth. This organ allows them to live in the wild in areas where other fish would not be able to thrive like large puddles, slow moving streams and drains.
Sadly, these fish can be seen at most large pet stores and are kept in tiny bowls with usually no other form of enrichment. A quick look on Petco shows that most are sold to consumers for under $5 (many of them on sale for $1.40). We assume the shipping methods are in place so that the animals can be mailed as cheaply as possible, no matter how stressful or cruel the process might be.