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Popular Valentine’s Day cockroach naming event returns to El Paso Zoo


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The El Paso Zoo is bringing back its popular Valentine's Day event "Quit Bugging Me." Participate here.

Residents can submit the names of people who are bugging them (the zoo recommends ex's, bosses, and mothers-in-law), along with a suggested donation, and the zoo will name a cockroach after that person. Those cockroaches are then fed to the meerkats at 2 p.m. February 14, 2024. The zoo says people can watch the feeding in person or tune in on Facebook Live and on the zoo's Instagram page.

"Zoo animals are regularly given enrichment to keep them stimulated both mentally and physically," zoo officials explained in a news release Wednesday. "Madagascar hissing cockroaches are ethically frozen and given to insectivores as determined by our zoo veterinarian staff. Insects are a normal part of these animals’ diets, in captivity or the wild."

All donations go to the El Paso Del Norte American Association of Zookeepers Chapter, which provides support to wildlife organizations, animals, and zoo staff.

The zoo introduced this annual event six years ago.

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Emma Hoggard


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