This Zoo Will Name A Cockroach After Your Ex And Feed It To Meerkats In Texas, the El Paso Zoo offered to name a cockroach after exes and feed it to meerkats on a webstream for Valentine's Day. The response has been massive.
NPR logo

This Zoo Will Name A Cockroach After Your Ex And Feed It To Meerkats

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/692823603/692823604" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
This Zoo Will Name A Cockroach After Your Ex And Feed It To Meerkats

This Zoo Will Name A Cockroach After Your Ex And Feed It To Meerkats

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/692823603/692823604" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Love poems are nice. But if you're not in a loving mood with Valentine's Day right around the corner, the El Paso Zoo has just the thing. They are offering to name a cockroach after your ex. Yeah. And it gets better. Here's what will actually happen on the 14th.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

On Valentine's Day, they will feed that cockroach to a hungry meerkat live on a webcam. As you might imagine, this offer got a lot of interest.

SARAH BORREGO: We really didn't think it would go as big as it did. We thought, maybe in El Paso and that's it. But it's gotten all over the place.

SHAPIRO: That's Sarah Borrego, the zoo's event coordinator. The staff soon realized that the meerkats would get full really fast. So they had to recruit tamarins and white-headed marmosets to share the cockroach feast.

KELLY: And the requests kept rolling in, from people like Maggie Smith in Columbus, Ohio...

MAGGIE SMITH: I'm mid-divorce, (laughter), and my birthday is the day before Valentine's Day. It's pure fantasy.

SHAPIRO: ...And Ariane Rowland. She is already divorced and named a cockroach after her ex-husband.

ARIANE ROWLAND: He's the one who originally made me hate Valentine's Day, and there's always this little piece of you that wants to get even. You know?

KELLY: Cathartic, sure. Constructive? Well...

SANDRA LANGESLAG: My guess is actually that that may not really work very well.

KELLY: That's Sandra Langeslag at the University of Missouri St. Louis. She studies love, breakups and all the emotions that go with them.

SHAPIRO: And she says if you're still angry enough with your ex to have them eaten in effigy by a meerkat, well, it might be because of lingering feelings. Here's her less-carnivorous suggestion to get through Valentine's Day.

LANGESLAG: Distraction is also helpful to feel less unpleasant. So just think about unrelated things that don't have to do with your ex.

KELLY: Good advice, but if after all that distraction your ex is still bugging you, the El Paso Zoo Facebook livestream is waiting for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MARK REDITO'S "LOVERS")

KELLY: Happy almost-Valentine's Day, from all of us at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED at NPR News.

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.