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Japanese Zoo Wants to Change People’s Minds About Cockroaches

A Japanese zoo is trying to do the impossible: change people’s minds about cockroaches. “They have such a negative image,” a spokeswoman for the Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo told reporters. “But they’re actually playing an important role in the food chain.” That role? Eating the rotting carcasses of dead animals and plants from forest floors.


The zoo has opened up an exhibit featuring two hundred roaches from fifteen different species. Visitors can watch a five-way race among cockroaches. The little critters scurry down a custom-built race track, trying to beat each other to the finish line. Another activity is a hands-on experience that lets zoo guests have an up-close and personal encounter with Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which can grow as large as two and a half inches.

The attraction has already proven popular. Seventy to eighty percent of the zoo’s visitors have stopped by the exhibit, according to the zoo’s spokeswoman. Only time will tell if it does anything to change people’s minds about the world’s most hated insect.

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Juicy: Japanese Zoo Wants to Change People’s Minds About Cockroaches
Japanese Zoo Wants to Change People’s Minds About Cockroaches
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