The Tragic Death of Bubba

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Ryan Tzou

More stories from Ryan Tzou

Dr. Dan Cortright stands next to the aquarium that held Bubba, a beta fish

Ryan Tzou

Dr. Dan Cortright stands next to the aquarium that held Bubba, a beta fish

Dr. Dan Cortright, the science teacher for the 8th Grade Purple Pod for Bedford Middle School, recently suffered a great ordeal; His beloved fish, Bubba, passed away, or as he put it, “He went to the fishy pond up in the sky where all fish go.”

Bubba was a male Betta fish, otherwise known as a Siamese Fighting fish, or a plakat. They are native to Southeast Asia, and their normal habitat is warm, freshwater ecosystems. Male Bettas are known to be very aggressive toward other fish when kept in the same tank, so Dr. Cortright kept Bubba in his own tank.

Dr. Cortright, when asked about how Bubba came to be in Bedford, said this:

Pullquote Photo

Bubba was an active fish and liked the company of kids during class.”

— Dr. Dan Cortright

“Bubba came to BMS at the request of a former student, Maddie. She thought that a live fish would be a good mascot for my classroom. He arrived at BMS in late 2017. I don’t know how old he was. The Grade 8 Purple team held a “name election” for the fish in 2017 and Bubba was the top vote getter. Maddie fed the fish every morning, and I gave him extra food on Friday afternoons for the weekend. On school holidays, Bubba stayed at my house. At the end of school last June, Maddie thought that Bubba should stay with me over the summer and come back to BMS to meet a new group of 8th graders. “

Maddie is now at Staples, and she did not receive the news about Bubba passing away yet.

One day, Dr. Cortright made a big mistake. He put Bubba’s tank next to the pencil sharpener. Now, how Dr. Cortright thinks the story played out is that when the pencil shaving tank was full, some reckless student probably dumped the pencil shavings into the tank, and Bubba probably mistaken it for food and choked on it. But then again, that might not be true. An average Betta in captivity only lives about 3 years. Dr. Cortright does not know how old he was when he arrived at Bedford, so Bubba might have just died of old age (is that better or worse?).

According to Dr. Cortright, Bubba met well over 200 students in his life here at Bedford, and he will be remembered by every one of them.

Dr. Cortright has recently made his announcement that he would be on the look for a “Bubba II,” but it’ll never be the same without the original Bubba.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email