Texas

Want to see your ‘ex’ devoured by a meerkat? Happy Valentine’s Day, from this TX zoo

The El Paso Zoo is letting patrons name a cockroach after their ex, and the named cockroaches will be fed to the meerkats at the zoo en masse on Feb. 14.
The El Paso Zoo is letting patrons name a cockroach after their ex, and the named cockroaches will be fed to the meerkats at the zoo en masse on Feb. 14.

This Valentine’s Day, zoos around the world are offering patrons a little smug Valentine’s Day satisfaction — the chance to name a cockroach after their ex for a nominal price of $2-$3.

Folks at the El Paso Zoo are taking this idea one step further. They’ll not only let you name a cockroach after your ex, they’ll feed that sucker to the horde of ravenous meerkats in the zoo’s meerkat enclosure and let you watch.

The zoo called it “the perfect Valentine’s Day gift” in a Facebook post.

Participating in the El Paso Zoo Valentine’s Day ex-lover feeding frenzy is free, too, unlike the cockroach-naming Valentine’s Day promotions at the Helmsley Conservation Centre in the United Kingdom or at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

If you’re interested in symbolically feeding your ex to a gang of striped rodent-like mammals, you don’t have to physically be in El Paso to participate. Just send your ex’s name to the El Paso Zoo in a Facebook message on or before Feb. 10.

Then you can tune in for the meerkats’ cockroach feast, which the zoo will broadcast on both Facebook Live and on the zoo’s own Meerkat Cam. It starts at 2:15 CST on Valentine’s Day.

The meerkat enclosure will also be decorated with the names of all the exes the zoo receives, according to the zoo’s Facebook post.

“This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities,” El Paso Zoo Event Coordinator Sarah Borrego said, according to KFOX. “The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!”

Nearly half of Americans choose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, according to new data from the National Retail Foundation. And for those who do celebrate, the cost of Valentine’s Day related activities has risen from about $60 to $162 in the last 10 years, according to the foundation.

The company that made Sweethearts Conversation Hearts for more than 100 years — New England Confectionery Company, or Necco — went out of business last year. And there’s a ripple effect only now being felt.

Buy flowers from a good florist, and cut stems at an angle under water if they ever go dry.

Matt is an award-winning real time reporter and a University of Texas at Austin graduate who’s been based at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 2011. His regional focus is Texas, and that makes sense. He’s only lived there his whole life.


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