USA Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
USA Insider Race to Survive: New Zealand

"Can I Kill This Thing?": Race to Survive Competitors on Hunting Hedgehogs & More

With the Race to Survive: New Zealand competitors sometimes going days without food, certain hedgehogs didn't make it.

By Caitlin Busch
The Strength Today: Race to Survive: New Zealand Episode 7 Highlight

Hedgehogs! Spiney, cute, and — if you're the competitors on Race to Survive: New Zealand — an excellent source of much-needed protein. Too bad they taste "terrible." 

How to Watch

Watch new episodes of Race to Survive: New Zealand Mondays at 11/10c on USA Network

That's what Paulina Peña and Creighton Baird told USA Insider ahead of Episode 7, when viewers got a first-hand look at how the pair (mostly Creighton) hunted hedgehogs to rack up some calories. 

"Man, hedgehog," Creighton said, laughing. "You can do a lot of things to make wild game taste good. [But] we had a lot of practice with hedgehog out in the bush, [and] you cannot make a hedgehog taste good. You can't, it doesn't matter if you fry it in eel fat and put some sea salt on it, it's gonna taste bad. [But] the liver and kidney are delicious; the organs taste really good. And then the guts are really good for eel bait — that's the most useful part of the hedgehog, is as bait for more meat."

More on Race to Survive: New Zealand:

How Long Can the Race to Survive Competitors Last Without Food? Science Says...
Race to Survive "Wilderness Wives" Rhandi & Ashley Embrace "Reckless Optimism"
Mikhail & Steffen Confirm What Tanked Their Race to Survive: New Zealand Game

Paulina was quick to clarify that they didn't take any joy in hunting the little critters. "It's so sad ... killing any animal. [But] when you're starving ... [you] have to. The hedgehogs, unfortunately, they're easy to get. And we kept coming across them during that race. And it did get to a point where it was like, we passed one more and I was like, 'Ah, Creighton didn't see it. I don't want to say anything.' 'Cause I don't want to kill another one.

"And then it was also like this moral dilemma of like, 'I don't want to kill it, but we need this food. And if we pass it up, then that's me not contributing to our team having more food.' And so I was like, 'Creighton, there's another one,'" she explained, wincing.

Why Hunt Hedgehogs in New Zealand?

However, as Creighton noted, hedgehogs are an invasive species in New Zealand. Of all the wildlife in the country, hedgehogs were actually pointed out as a good target for the competitors to hunt and eat.

"Even if you don't plan on eating it, just killing them is a good thing for the native environment down there," Creighton said. "But nobody feels good walking up to like the cutest little roly-poly hedgehog thing in the world and stabbing it in the head. Like it's not a cool thing to do."

Hedgehogs, Dolphins & Eels, Oh My

Creighton Baird holds up an egg in Race to Survive: New Zealand

Hedgehogs aren't the only animals viewers have seen the players hunt this season, of course. Creighton was the first to stumble on goose eggs; there have been eels, fish, and countless other wildlife. In Episode 6, the players witnessed a pod of dolphins playing in the water and Creighton remarked how much he'd love to hunt one.

RELATED: Could You Race to Survive with Your In-Law? Ryan and Bronsen Explain How They Do It

If he'd had the chance, he would have done it, he said. No question about it. In fact, he said he found himself constantly questioning, "Can I kill this thing?" 

Paulina, while agreeing that the players' scarcity mindset definitely pushed them to certain limits, jumped in: "That was the mindset Creighton was in. I knew food was important, but I didn't think – I was like, 'No, we're not gonna kill a dolphin. Come on, man!'" she said, laughing.

Keep watching new episodes of Race to Survive: New Zealand every Monday on USA Network at 11 p.m. ET/PT

Catch up on Race to Survive: Alaska on Peacock.