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Over $10,000 raised for El Paso Zoo’s ‘Quit Bugging Me’ Valentine’s Day event

'Quit Bugging Me'
KVIA
Large roaches for the El Paso Zoo's 'Quit Bugging Me' event.

EL PASO, Texas -- Spending Valentine's Day alone can sting, which is why the El Paso Zoo gave people a chance to poke some fun at an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend while giving back to a good cause.

The campaign is a simple one: Make a donation, name a cockroach after your ex and watch it be fed to zoo animals.

It's the second straight year of the El Paso Zoo's 'Quit Bugging Me' campaign, and the zoo has raised more than double what was raised last year: $10,000 dollars going into Valentine's Day, with 16,000 names collected.

"We were a little tired of the commercial love thing," said Sarah Borrego, an event coordinator for the El Paso Zoo. "We said, we need to do something different. We need to do something fun, anti-Valentine's day."

For the animals, it's a special treat. Zookeepers say they don't often receive the Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

El Paso Zoo Director Joe Montisano also joined in on the fun. He was eating one water bug, a similar type of insect more edible for humans, for every thousand dollars raised - in other words at least 10 roaches.

"I mean bugs are the perfect protein. People have been eating them for years," Montisano said. "It's been suggested [to use] chocolate or dipping them in something, but I think that would just make it worse. I think it's something just to force through if you will."

Feedings for the various animals run between Friday (Valentine's Day) and Sunday. You can watch them in-person and on social media. You can find the feeding schedule, by clicking here.

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Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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