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'What a pathetic gimmick': Toronto Zoo's campaign to name a cockroach after an ex draws backlash, biting response

The Zoo's latest offer for donations is irritating readers who think it borders on 'bullying and harassment'

'What a pathetic gimmick': Toronto Zoo's campaign to name a cockroach after an ex draws backlash, biting response
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Have an ex-partner that you absolutely hate? A boss, or a relative getting on your nerves lately? Have you been bursting with anger, waiting patiently for the day you can get back at them? Well, look no further because this is your chance to be very petty.

With Valentine's Day coming up soon, Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy has launched a new name-a-roach campaign.

For a minimum donation of $25, the zoo will allow you to name a cockroach after anyone you know.

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“Roses are red, violets are blue… Is there someone in your life that’s bugging you? Give them goosebumps this Valentine’s Day by naming a cockroach in their honour,” the wildlife conservancy’s webpage reads.

Those who donate will receive a digital certificate with the name of the roach, a full charitable tax receipt, and a shareable digital graphic.

However, Toronto Zoo has clearly said that names and language deemed inappropriate will not be featured on the digital certificate and that profanity and hate speech will not be tolerated.

"The Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy respect all creatures – big and small. Cockroaches play a very integral ecological role in their rainforest homes by helping to decompose forest litter and animal fecal matter and are, in turn, food for many other animals," the organization said.

People can make a donation by filling out this form.

Criticism of the cockroach approach: 'This is a sick idea'

While the idea struck a chord for many online, inspiring laughs and a few ideas for 'target' cockroaches, many were offended by the zoo's cheap attempt at donations, calling it a way to dehumanize, bully others.

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