Redditors are up in arms about a butterfly-hatching kit that was apparently abandoned, leaving the live caterpillars inside to die.
The original poster explained that they found an abandoned butterfly hatching kit “liquidated to a junk bin store” after someone must have decided they did not want it.
A photo of the box shared by the Redditor revealed that it was clearly marked with the words “perishable,” “fragile,” and “open right away” to signal that it could not be kept in a stock room for long.
The Redditor mentioned that they opened the box up in the store to see if there was a chance that the caterpillars made it, but they were “just a box of corpses” by that point.
Butterfly rearing and observing can be a great educational tool for children when done the right way.
Experts recommend having families and schools create their own butterfly gardens. You can do this by designating a space to grow plants that attract butterflies native to your area. For example, milkweed attracts Monarch butterflies.
This way, you and your kids or students will be able to observe the life cycle of the butterfly in its natural habitat, all while getting to enjoy the benefits that butterflies bring to your yard.
An approach like this one also eliminates some of the major issues that come with store-bought butterfly hatching kits.
If a butterfly is hatched and released into an area that isn’t its native habitat, it will likely struggle to survive. Likewise, they can also spread diseases and interbreed with native butterfly populations, which introduces “non-optimal” genes into the population, according to the North American Butterfly Association. Releasing butterflies into non-native areas can also harm studies of migration patterns, as they can show up in the wrong place at the wrong time of year.
Besides the potential environmental impact of the kit, commenters on the post were extremely upset that the negligent warehouse allowed the caterpillars to die.
“This is definitely not mildly infuriating, it’s full scale,” one user wrote. “Disgusting.”
“This makes me sad,” commented another, with a third adding, “That’s awful.”
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