For Valentine's Day, name a hissing cockroach for someone you love (or loathe)

You may also get to watch a meerkat chow down on a cockroach named for your ex.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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This meerkat at the El Paso Zoo enjoyed a cockroach snack.

El Paso Zoo

This Valentine's Day, skip the chocolates. Pass on the roses. True love comes in the form a 3-inch-long hissing insect.

The Bronx Zoo in New York is once again offering its annual Valentine's Day option to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach for a loved one. These large insects live in a hollowed-out tree trunk in the zoo's Madagascar exhibit. They're also popular as pets. 

The Bronx Zoo is taking a positive approach to its roach promotion. "You don't always have the right words, but you can still give them goosebumps. Name a roach for your Valentine, because roaches are forever," it says

For $15 (about £11, AU$22) you can name a roach and get a digital certificate. For $55 (about £42, AU$80), you get a printed certificate, roach socks and a roach candle. The certificates show two roaches "kissing." 

If the Bronx Zoo's approach is too lovey-dovey for you, keep an eye on the El Paso Zoo in Texas. Last year, the zoo offered to name cockroaches for exes and then feed them to their hungry meerkats. 

The El Paso Zoo tweeted this week that it will announce more details on its Valentine's cockroach plans very soon. Jilted lovers were able to watch the meerkat feast over a livestream in 2019. The zoo received so many names, it had to spread the cockroaches out to other animals, including tamarins and marmosets. 

"So satisfying," wrote one happy customer on Facebook.

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