Sydney: Roses are red, violets are blue, is there a brown snake in Sydney named after you?
Well, there soon could be, thanks to a competition launched by a zoo in Australia that invites people to name one of their venomous snakes after an ex-partner — all in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
“Is your ex a snake? If so, now is your opportunity to cement their ‘snaky status’ this Valentine’s Day by naming a brown snake (one of the world’s most venomous snakes) after them at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo!” the zoo posted on its Facebook page earlier this month.
To enter, participants must fill out a form including the name of their ex-partner and detailing why they deserve to have a snake named after them. Entrants are also asked to make a $1 donation to the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund. The winning name will be selected by the zoo’s reptile team and revealed on Thursday, Valentine’s Day.
“We hope that by providing someone unlucky in love the opportunity to name WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s very own brown snake after their ex, we can give them something else to celebrate on Valentine’s Day this year,” the zoo’s general manager, Mark Connolly, said.
On social media, many reacted to the zoo’s competition with delight, tagging their friends and vowing to submit the names of their ex or, in some cases, exes. Not everyone, however, was impressed by the concept with some riled users accusing the zoo of encouraging bullying.
“So basically WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is encouraging a heap of online bullying, aimed at attacking peoples exes?” read one comment, to which the zoo replied:
“We can assure you that no entries submitted as part of our ‘Name a snake after your ex’ competition will be released publicly. The chosen first name will be announced via our social channels on Valentine’s Day. This is a light hearted activity, we do not encourage activities that could cause defamation or bullying. We take data protection seriously and competition entries and personal details are never disclosed publicly, nor would any full names be used.”
And it’s not just WILD LIFE Sydney that understands not everyone wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with flowers and a romantic meal.
The El Paso Zoo in Texas took to Facebook earlier this month, inviting people to name a cockroach after an ex. On Thursday, the zoo will feed the newly named cockroaches to meerkats and other animals during a live stream.
“The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!” event coordinator Sarah Borrego told CBS News.
In 2017, a cat cafe in Washington, D.C., offered people the chance to write their ex’s name on a litter box. At the time, Kanchan Singh, the café’s owner said that while many people submitted the names of their exes, others used the opportunity to express their political views. According to Singh, numerous “Trump” and “Pence” submissions made it into the box as well.
And they say romance is dead.