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Best Valentine’s Day gift: name a hissing cockroach after your sweetheart

Chocolate, roses, and jewelry are out this Valentine’s Day. What’s in? Giant hissing cockroaches.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this Valentine’s Day: the right to name one of the zoo’s giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches after a loved one—or perhaps an “ex”.

Each name costs $10 and comes with an e-card sent to the recipient announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor. Proceeds from the sales will go toward WCS’s efforts to protect wildlife around the world.

To name a roach, go to:

Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society

The zoo has tens of thousands of roaches in need of a name.

“Nothing says forever like a cockroach,” said Jim Breheny, Senior Vice President for Living Institutions and Director of the Bronx Zoo, in a statement. “They are resourceful, resilient, and have been around for hundreds of millions of years.”

At nearly nearly four-inches long, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world’s largest roach species. They “hiss” as a defense mechanism.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is found only on the island of Madagascar, where it lives rotting logs. Unlike roaches most of us know and often revile, this species rarely comes inside unless it is kept as a pet (yes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are popular pets).

Madagascar has many other bizarre and unique species besides the giant roach, including more than 100 types of lemurs, brightly colored chameleons and geckos, and the fossa, a puma-like creature most closely related to the mongoose.

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