BRONX, New York (WABC) --Love is in the air at the Bronx Zoo, kind of...
The Bronx Zoo has kicked of its annual Name-A-Roach event! Started in 2011, the annual attraction has had more than 11,000 roaches named -- all in the name of love, and the environment.
According to Bronx Zoo herpetologist Don Boyer, it's all in good fun and for a good cause. For a few weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, zoo goers and anyone else interested can name a not so cuddly Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in honor of a loved or even a not so loved one.
For a $10 donation, people can download a certificate featuring the name chosen for their roach. The proceeds go towards helping the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS, save wildlife and wild places in New York and around the world.
The popularity has taken Name A Roach into its fifth year as thousands of people from all over the world have already named their roach after someone in their lives. But people get creative too, naming a roach after political candidates, celebrities, and other public figures.
These Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world's largest roach species reaching nearly four-inches long and the hissing noise is emitted as a defense mechanism. Don Boyer also said these aren't your typical New York City cockroaches, they are a fantastic roach species vital to the ecology and completely harmless.
While visiting the zoo with his family. Mayer Koenig of Passaic, New Jersey, thought it's a great idea, while his wife Chaya said it was disgusting and insulting.
According to Don Boyer, nothing says love like naming a cockroach after someone...
If interested, you can check out bronxzoo.com/roach through Valentines Day for more information.