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Science & Technology

For Valentine's Day, the Bronx Zoo lets you name a roach after your sweetheart

A face only a mother could love: a Madagascar hissing cockroach (<em>Gromphadorhina portentosa</em>)
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A face only a mother could love: a Madagascar hissing cockroach (<em>Gromphadorhina portentosa</em>)

Valentine's Day is almost here. Or might we say, it's approaching?

Zoos across the U.S. are breaking into the Valentine's Day gift market, offering swarms of opportunities to name cockroaches after loved ones — or, maybe, an ex.

The Bronx Zoo's Name a Roach program, now in its 11th year, offers an unusual way to show your undying love. For $15, you can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your special someone. The money benefits the Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization, the zoo's website says.

It's a gift designed to last. After all, "roaches are forever," the site reminds us. You'll get a certificate to memorialize the gift.

For some, like Susie, described on the zoo's site as a "satisfied roach namer and lover of romance," naming a roach has become a Valentine's Day tradition.

"Roses and chocolates come and go, but roaches last an eternity," Susie says, "just like our love!"

The zoo also offered "a delightful Valentine's Virtual Encounter with a Madagascar hissing cockroach" — but those meet-and-greet opportunities are already sold out.

The zoo also had other items on offer — roach socks and roach beanies (for you, not the insect!) — that have been snapped up too.

Other zoos are also in on the lovebug trend

At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you can buy an "endless love" name-a-roach pin for $10. It comes with a digital certificate and, of course, the naming of a roach.

"There's two things we're sure will last forever; True Love and Roaches," the site reads.

But the San Antonio Zoo's Cry Me a Cockroach fundraiser is geared toward naming after the ones who "really [made] 2021 difficult," such as an "ex-partner, boss, or bestie."

The Texas zoo offers a selection of living things to name: It costs $5 to name a leafy green, $10 for a roach and $25 for a rodent. And, warning, this next part may not be for everyone: Those who upgrade their donation can watch a video of their newly named creature being fed to an animal.

The Nebraska Humane Society's litter box promotion isn't far off from San Antonio's approach. For $15, the organization will write an ex's first name at the bottom of a litter box.

And it leaves the rest to the cats.

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