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Feed Your Ex to a Bear for Valentine's Day

Air Date: Week of

Metaphorically feed an ex-lover to a bear by naming a fish after them with Wildlife Images Rehabilition Center’s “Catch and Release” promotion for Valentine’s Day. (Photo: patrickmoody, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Wildlife centers are offering some catharsis for anyone feeling bitter at an ex this Valentine’s Day. For a small donation, people can name a fish or cockroach after an ex and then watch a livestream of it being fed to a predator. Living on Earth's Aynsley O'Neill sits down with Host Bobby Bascomb for the details.


BASCOMB: Valentine’s Day is coming right up, and for happy couples, it’s a time to celebrate their love. But not everyone is happily paired up this year, and some might even be feeling burned by a recent break up. Living on Earth’s Aynsley O’Neill has been looking into some options for those folks that might take the sting out of the romantic holiday. Hey there Aynsley!

O’NEILL: Hi, Bobby, and happy early Valentine’s Day!

BASCOMB: Thanks, same to you! So, what have you been looking into here?

O’NEILL: Well, I have found a few places that will turn your ex into prey for wild animals.

BASCOMB: Umm wow. This took a dark turn really quickly. What are you talking about?

O’NEILL: Not literally, not literally. But take the Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in Grants Pass, Oregon. If you have someone in your life who’s kind of slimy, or maybe a bit of a bottom feeder, you can name a fish after them and have that fish fed to one of the center’s bears. A twenty-dollar donation gets you the standard package with a special certificate and livestream access so you can watch the carnage in all its glory.

BASCOMB: Haha, I can imagine that could actually be really satisfying, I don’t know it’s so primal.

O’NEILL: Yeah. Some people will also write the name of a sports team that just keeps disappointing them, or maybe the name of a politician who’s not quite living up to their standards and El Paso Zoo has a similar event, only with cockroaches instead of fish.

BASCOMB: Oh man, I mean every creature is important right? But we don’t think too highly of the cockroach. Somehow it feels I don’t know fitting to name one after a person you’re still angry with.

O’NEILL: Exactly! I feel like seeing a meerkat or hornbill chow down on a cockroach named after an ex-boyfriend has to be pretty cathartic. And the El Paso Zoo then livestreams the feedings for Valentine’s Day and the next few days, so you can enjoy that catharsis for a while.

BASCOMB: Ok, well what if you want to support and you don’t have anybody you are angry with on Valentine’s Day?

The Bronx Zoo will name a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach after your significant other for Valentine’s Day. Why? Because roaches are forever. (Photo: Liz West, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

O’NEILL: Ahh…then The Bronx Zoo is the thing for you! Their tagline is "roaches are forever”.

BASCOMB: Yeah, they are.

O’NEILL: It’s perhaps the most romantic way of thinking about an insect known for being a pest that just won’t die. This time, your donation will name one of the zoo’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches after your loved one. And you can get some roach-themed goodies as well, like socks or a candle that…may or may not be roach scented.

BASCOMB: Yeah, I don’t want to think I want a roach scented candle. But you know Aynsley, I don’t want to pry, but do you have anybody in your life that you’d want to name a fish or a roach after?

O’NEILL: Well, I shouldn’t name names, but I can definitely think of a few people in my life who I wouldn’t mind metaphorically feeding to a bear.

BASCOMB: Haha! Alright, Aynsley, well thanks for that report.

O’NEILL: Sure thing, Bobby!

BASCOMB: Living on Earth’s Aynsley O’Neill. And for links about turning your ex into a cockroach or fish, go to the Living on Earth website, LOE.org.



Wildlife Images Rehabilitation Center’s “Catch and Release” Program

El Paso Zoo’s “Quit Bugging Me” Program

The Bronx Zoo’s Roach Program


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