Zoo continues tradition of naming cockroaches before Valentine’s Day

Zoo continues tradition of naming cockroaches before Valentine's Day

Zoo continues tradition of naming cockroaches before Valentine’s Day


Zoos across the country are continuing the pre-Valentine tradition of naming animals and critters — some of which will end up unfortunate in nature’s food chain.

If you’re trying to find a symbolic way to escape the flames of a past life, care to benefit a zoo ambassador, or have a lover with a brutal sense of humor, here are some wildlife facilities that are hosting naming events.

The Bronx Zoo’s Name Is The Cockroach

New York’s Bronx Zoo is renaming its roach event for Valentine’s Day. Launched in 2011, the program allows zoo visitors to name Madagascar hissing cockroaches for $15 — including a digital certificate. The naming of cockroaches doesn’t have to be limited to predecessors, either. The Bronx Zoo encourages patrons to name roaches after friends and loved ones. Orders can be placed online, and on February 14, Valentine’s Day gift recipients will be notified that an insect has been named after them.

If that wasn’t enough, the Bronx Zoo is offering a roach-named goodie that includes a virtual encounter with a Madagascar hissing roach and either staff or roach-themed souvenir merchandise. Valentine’s Day shoppers can choose from Roach Socks, Roach Beans, or both.

Brookfield Zoo Names a Cockroach After Your Former Appointment: No Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo is reviving its annual “Name a Cockroach After Your Ex” campaign, dubbed an “Unhappy Valentine’s Day” campaign for “the not special (or special) people in your life.” For $15, holiday watchers can name Madagascar’s hissing cockroaches. After purchase, customers will receive a naming certificate in the donation receipt for personal display at home. The donation also led to a buyer’s placement on the Brookfield Zoo’s cockroach naming board outside the Hamill Family Fun Zoo on February 14.

Only the name will be displayed for each named cockroach. Personalized messages will also be excluded. Brookfield Zoo will share photos of the cockroach naming boards on the zoo’s social media pages. Donations and submissions must be made on the zoo’s website by February 7, 2022 at 5:00 PM CT if you want to ensure your named roach is on the shelves in time.

Buff Off at the Lehigh Valley Zoo

The Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnexville, Pennsylvania, is hosting a Valentine’s Day deworming event, where zoo guests can take crickets by their former ordained names and watch them being fed to zoo ambassadors. A donation of $5 is required for each raised cricket, which will support the conservation and animal enrichment efforts of the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Additional donations are also welcome.

The weekly cricket feeding will be shared on the Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Facebook page ahead of Valentine’s Day. The videos will show various zoo animal ambassadors munching on crickets, while staff deliver messages about the wildlife.

San Antonio Zoo Cries for Cockroaches Fundraiser

The San Antonio Zoo in Texas is resuming its annual Cry Me a Roach fundraiser, this time with a vegetarian option. Zoo guests will be able to name a cockroach for $10, a farm-frozen rat for $25 or a vegetable for $5 — all of which can be fed to animals at the facility. The zoo says customers are free to name bugs, rodents and vegetables after “ex-partners, bosses or best friends”.

Every donation continues to support the San Antonio Zoo and its conservation efforts. Fundraiser participants will receive a customisable certificate of participation in the Cry Me a Cockroach campaign. The zoo also offers upgradable personalized video options for 50 donors. The video will be emailed on February 14, and for privacy reasons, only names will be shown during the event.

Alternative Valentine’s Day Zoo Events

If naming the bugs or animals you’re destined to feed doesn’t appeal to you, the zoo hosts other, more uplifting Valentine’s Day events.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO will let guests adopt a symbolic mountain lion for Valentine’s Day, while the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin will send loved ones personalized video messages featuring penguins, elephants, Tiger and sloth.

Other zoos offer one-of-a-kind dining experiences and sweetheart packages for Valentine’s Day celebrants. Check out the list of scheduled events at your local zoo to see what’s available in your area.

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