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Bronx Zoo's Name-A-Roach program is back: 'Seal it with a hiss'

Hold your stomachs: the Bronx Zoo is pitching its Name-A-Roach program again.

Name a Roach at the Bronx Zoo

(Credit: WCS/Bronx Zoo)

Roaches are forever — at least, that’s what the Bronx Zoo says.

The zoo’s Name-A-Roach program is back again, promising a “Valentine to remember, forever.”

Whether done with sincerity or with snark, the naming of the four-inch-long Madagascar hissing cockroach is a unique gift. For $15, you can name it anything you want, and you’ll get a certificate saying that you’ve paid good money to do so. If you pay $75, you’ll even get a “Roach Broach” pin, roach socks and a box of artisan chocolates. Who wouldn’t like that?

“Roses wither, chocolates melt but roaches are forever," said John Calvelli, the Wildlife Conservation Society executive vice president of public affairs. "Nothing lasts longer than a roach, so it could be sent as a symbolic gesture about how long your love will last or exactly the opposite. Some might say that love is like a roach — elusive, resilient and sometimes very scary.”

While you won't get an actual roach, it's good to know what you're buying into. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world’s largest of their species and they hiss as a defense mechanism. In other words, these aren't your run-of-the-mill kitchen roaches.

If you want a good look, check out the zoo's "Madagascar!" exhibit, which has lemurs, crocodiles, and other animals from the African island country.

When you name your roach, don't be afraid to get personal. Thousands of people have named them after a loved one, an ex, a mother-in-law, politicians, celebrities and more — "the possibilities are limitless," the zoo says.

The program, which is in its seventh year, is meant to help the Wildlife Conservation Society further its mission to save wildlife in New York and around the world.

For more information, visit the bronxzoo.com/roach.

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