DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — While many people adopt dogs and cats, for a limited time, the Scovill Zoo in Decatur has a couple of other animals you can adopt for that special someone this Valentine’s Day: hissing cockroaches and naked mole rats.

“We thought it would be funny to do this during a slow time of the year,” said Lizzie Van Ert, Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the zoo who helps organize the event. “People don’t normally associate cockroaches and naked mole rats with the holiday, but we wanted to do something different.”

Van Ert planned the event last year, and around 20 or so cockroaches were adopted. She hopes with more preparation time this year that more animals will be adopted.

“I thought it would be cool to have a friendly competition between which animal is adopted more than the other, so that’s why I added the naked mole rat,” Van Ert said. “Many other local and national zoos have similar adoption programs, so it will exciting to see who wins the competition.”

Anyone can adopt a hissing cockroach for $20 or a naked mole rat for $25 for themselves, a friend, a family member, or a special someone in their name. Those who adopt either animal will receive an adoption certificate, a photo with the animal, and original artwork of the animal.

All adoption proceeds go toward the preservation and maintenance of all the Scovill Zoo animals.

“I’m hoping many of our animals are adopted,” Van Ert said. “I’m looking forward to this. It’s going to be so much fun for everyone.”

More information can be found here or by contacting the zoo at 217-421-7435.

Courtesy: Lizzie Van Ert