More than 5,700 romantics sealed Valentine's Day with a hiss. To be precise, 5,707 romantics named a Madagascar hissing cockroach on behalf of their loved ones for Valentine's Day, raising a collective $57,070 to save wildlife and wild places around the world. “The WCS Bronx Zoo roach spread a lot of love on Valentine's Day,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “We are thankful to everyone who believed that naming a roach after a loved one was more romantic than chocolate or roses.” The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, has more than 58,000 of these roaches living in its Madagascar! exhibit. While the naming opportunity has passed for this year, there are still plenty of nameless roaches that can be adopted once again on Valentine’s Day next year. In the meantime, zoo-goers can visit Hissing Hottie, Cranky Frankie, Lisa Lovebug, Hisssterical, and the other roaches at the Bronx Zoo.
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world’s largest roach species reaching nearly four-inches long. The namesake hissing noise is emitted as a defense mechanism. Like nearly every roach species, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are not considered pests and rarely enter homes.