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Nothing says ‘I love you’ like an adorable snow leopard cub. On the other hand, a Madagascar hissing cockroach more than adequately conveys ‘good riddance’.
For Valentine’s Day this year, the San Francisco Zoo is offering a variety of special Adopt-an-Animal gifts that include plush animals and realistic rubber replicas of insects designed to send the perfect message.
After all, it’s the thought that counts.
“Depending upon whether you consider a hiss to be a sign of love or love lost — as in ‘good riddance’ — or perhaps because one type of cockroach hiss is actually a female-attracting hiss, the gift of an adoption of one of our Madagascar hissing cockroaches can be anything you want it to be,” said Patrick Schlemmer, Curator of Invertebrates at the zoo.
The gifts cost $50 each and include a custom adoption certificate, a collector’s photo, a plush animal (or rubber replica in the case of the cockroaches) and candy hearts.
Assorted creatures available include the hissing cockroaches, snow leopard cubs, a pair of charismatic orangutans, an Asian forest scorpion and snow leopard cubs.
Schlemmer pointed out that scorpions go through a romantic courtship dance, holding each other’s pincers while doing a sort of waltz.
“Of course, if the female is unsatisfied with her dancing partner, she can simply eat him,” Schlemmer said.
The gifts are available for purchase online at www.sfzoo.org, through Valentine’s Day.