The San Francisco Zoo is offering an alternative to traditional Valentine's Day festivities this year. Jilted lovers can adopt a hissing cockroach or giant scorpion in the names of their current or future ex(es).
"Nothing says 'I've moved on' like adopting a giant cuddly cockroach in the name of your favorite ex," the cockroach's adoption page says.
There are multiple levels of giving available, based primarily on the extent of the sender's level of "residual contempt." Donation amounts range from $25 (for the cockroach) to as much as $1,000.
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"Fallen prey to love's cruel sting? Consider adopting the giant hairy scorpion, the largest in North America, for an unsuspecting victim," the scorpion's adoption page says. "Much like your low-life ex, they are usually found in and around low-elevation valleys where they dig elaborate burrows or 'caves.'"
Adoption packages do not actually include live animals — the adoptions are in name only. Donors do receive official certificates of adoption from the zoo, as well as a plush scorpion or a special Valentine's-themed gift box containing plastic cockroaches, depending on the adopted animal.
Zoo officials said the less-than-romantic gift will protect the sender's karma and help the zoo continue its mission of connecting people with wildlife, while clearly communicating that the relationship is definitely over. Claims from zoo officials about the effect of adopting a scorpion on one's karma could not be verified.
For those still happy in their romantic pursuits, the zoo is also offering cuter, more Valentine's Day-appropriate adoption opportunities. Those include the zoo's red panda, Magellanic penguins and ring-tailed lemurs. There are also a number of big cats available, including the African lion, Sumatran tiger or snow leopard.