Valentine’s Day is that perfect time of the year to be romantic, sending chocolates and flowers and taking your beau for a fancy dinner. OK, it is somewhat commercialised, but who cares? For those who have had a break-up and are not feeling particularly romantic, you can enjoy the holiday too, by getting revenge on that irritating ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

El Paso Zoo in Texas will feed a cockroach – named after your ex - to one of their friendly meerkats, all caught on Facebook webcam for the whole world to participate and watch. Even better, there’s no charge.

‘Quit Bugging Me:’ the perfect Valentine gift for your ex

Many of us have former boyfriends or girlfriends we can’t seem to shake. Here is the answer. El Paso Zoo is running a Valentine’s Day promotion that allows anyone – worldwide – to name a cockroach after their ex, and watch on live webcam as it is fed to a meerkat. Starting on 11 February, the zoo will also list the names of the lucky recipients at the meerkat habitat for visitors to see.

One Facebook user, Ariane Rowland, commented that she had sent through the name of her ex. However, she said knowing her luck, the cockroach will escape and there will be two pests with the same name running around.

The event has been appropriately named “Quit Bugging Me” and Sarah Borrego, the event coordinator for El Paso Zoo, spoke to CBS News about the fun idea. Zookeepers are hoping the local community will become more involved with their zoo through the promotion, adding it is one of their “daily enrichment activities.”

Sarah said meerkats always love to get snacks and cockroaches are one of their (crunchy, munchy) favourites.

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She asked what better way to celebrate the holiday than by naming one of the snacks after an ex? Along the way, it is a great way to involve the community in their activities.

The zoo made a post on their Facebook page about the event, saying they would name the cockroach after the recipients and besides listing them at the meerkat habitat, they will also post the names (first and last name initials) on their page from 11 February.

The zoo then invites everyone to watch the event via Facebook Live at Valentine’s Day at 2:15 PM local time, using their meerkat webcam. Just imagine watching as the cute little animals crunch away at your ex!

It turns out their new promotion has beaten their expectations and they made an update on Facebook to say due to the “tremendous response” organisers have decided they will be “spreading the love” to other animals in the zoo, saying they will keep everyone posted on Valentine’s feeding times.

Other zoos have similar cockroach themes for Valentine’s Day

As reported by The Mind Unleashed, Bronx Zoo in New York is running a similar promotion, which they call “A Timeless Gift,” writing on their website that once the chocolates are all eaten and the flowers have wilted, roaches will thrive and be triumphant. They go on to invite visitors to give a gift that is eternal while naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach for Valentine’s Day.

Well, they do say cockroaches would survive a nuclear war!

Hemsley Conservation Centre in Kent is also running a similar Valentine’s event. For a small donation, the latter will name a cockroach for your ex. However, they won’t be feeding the bug to a meerkat.

May its love be eternal!

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