Does your broken heart need mending this Valentine’s Day? Well, how about your ego? Petty or not, here’s the perfect opportunity to get that revenge, um we mean closure, you’ve been looking for by naming a cockroach after your ex and having it fed to a hungry meerkat.

El Paso Zoo in Texas posted this to their Facebook page:

You can actually watch as the roach is fed to the ravenous meerkat on live stream via the zoo’s Facebook page and website.

El Paso Zoo posted this along with the charming photo:

“What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? ❤️Naming a cockroach after your ex, of course! Message us your ex’s name and we’ll name a cockroach after them! We’ll post names (First and last name initial!) starting February 11 here on Facebook! Watch on Facebook Live or on our website’s Meerkat webcam on Valentine’s Day at 2:15 pm to see them devour these little bugs!”

“This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities,” Sarah Borrego, the event coordinator at El Paso Zoo, told CBS News.”The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!”


The annual event, called ‘Quit Bugging Me,’ has already received well over 1500 names. Each meerkat will get only one roach (we wouldn’t want to over-indulge those cute fuzzy things), so the zoo staff is happy to share the love and give the overflow to the cotton-top tamarins, golden tamarins, and white-headed marmosets, who also love snacking on cockroaches. YUM.

There are other institutions with similar traditions. The Hemsley Conservation Center in the UK will name a cockroach after your ex for $2. The Bronx Zoo in New York, as well as Zoo Boise in Idaho, will happily name a cockroach after a friend, significant other or family member for $10. And all this time I’ve been wasting money on simple things like boxes of chocolates and sappy cards. Pffft.

It may not be tradition or very romantic but as the Bronx Zoo tells patrons, “After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant.” That’s certainly food for thought.

In the meantime, the Sydney Zoo in Australia extends a service a bit pithier by offering to name a venomous snake after your ex. How fitting.



Would you do ever consider doing this? SIGN. ME. UP.