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Love & Hisses: Name a Roach After Your Honey

madagascar hissing cockroach bronx zoo
Smooches. (Image credit: WCS/Bronx Zoo)

Best Valentine's Day gift ever. Name a hissing Madagascar cockroach after your sweetie. But don't stop there; why not buy a chocolate bar in the shape of a cockroach, too? At the Bronx Zoo in New York, you can do both.

"Flowers wilt. Candlelight fades. Roaches are forever." That's the slogan for this year's fundraiser, which supports the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo. Name a roach for $10. Buy a roach-shaped chocolate for $25.

The Bronx Zoo is home to 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches, the world’s largest member of the roach family. Last year, thousands of hopeless romantics from around the world named the cockroaches after their favorite loved one … or after an "ex" or mother-in-law. Each gift comes with a colorful certificate emailed to your loved one announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor.

The live hissing cockroaches are on display in the zoo's "Madagascar!" exhibit. The exhibit is an award-winning habitat for lemurs, crocodiles and many other species from the African island nation.

So that your significant other isn't without the requisite Valentine's chocolate, each "cocoa-roach" is a 100 percent solid dark chocolate likeness of a Madagascar hissing cockroach. The chocolate roaches are hand-crafted by chocolatier Sabrina Berkowitz of The Chocolate Box NYC (Cocoa-roaches are NOT chocolate-covered roaches).

If you think naming a roach isn't sending the right Valentine's message (more "ew" than "I love you"), then there are other ways to name a zoo animal after your loved one. At Zoo Atlanta, anyone can sponsor a tiger or panda cub for $75, and receive a Cub-To-Go box for their Valentine. The Cub-To-Go boxes come with a cuddly plush version of their sponsored cub.

At the Audubon Society, lovers of flying critters can make an adoption, too: A stuffed ladybug that buzzes when you squeeze it can be all yours for $35.

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is offering Critter Cupids this year. For $10, name a naked mole rat or a cuttlefish after your loved one. For $20 you can name an exotic animal such as the oriental fire-bellied toad. Oh, and you can also name a cockroach after a loved one here, too.

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