Lonely Planet Writer

Sealed with a hiss - Bronx Zoo gift ideas for Valentine's Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there are an increasing amount of unorthodox and unusual approaches to that rose-infested, over-marketed annual event. The Bronx Zoo for one, has come up with its very own interpretation of the phrase ‘lovebugs’.

Hissing cockroaches from Madagascar
Hissing cockroaches from Madagascar Image by hj_west / CC BY 2.0

For $10 the zoo is giving couples the opportunity of naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach after their loved one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In exchange the zoo provides a certificate to confirm that one of its tens of thousands of roaches has been named after the receiver of the gift.

Not only that, but there is a premium version! The Bronx Zoo also offers a $25 gift, which includes the certificate confirming that there is a roach named after the receiver, and a Nunu Chocolate bar with it. The zoo writes: “Your donation will also help us protect these misunderstood love bugs, along with a lot of other animals, both big and small. As they say, roaches make the heart beat faster.” This is not the first whacky initiative the Bronx Zoo has taken in order to raise money for itself.

The Madagascar hissing cockraoch is the largest roach in the world, and is found across mainland Africa. As the name suggests, it’s characterized by an actual hissing sound it produces through openings in its abdomen. Precisely what one thinks of for Valentines Day!