Icky exchange

After a close race to gain 'likes' on Facebook, marketing directors at river museum and Blank Park Zoo are performing 'dirty jobs.

It looked like the scene from a horror movie.

Ryan Bickel, marketing director for Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo, thrust his hands into a writhing mulch pile to pluck out thumb-sized cockroaches that had burrowed their way deep inside.

"I think one almost got in your hair," said John Sutter, marketing director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, as his counterpart dug deeper into the mulch for the frantically scurrying insects.

Bickel performed "dirty jobs" Friday at the river museum, a result of a side bet between the two institutions.

The organizations competed to see which could gain the most new "likes" on Facebook during the month of October. The second-place organization pledged to perform a dirty job at the winning organization.

The zoo edged ahead on the final day, 2,906 new "likes" to the museum's 2,661, and Bickel and Sutter decided they would celebrate the closeness of the race by each volunteering for dirty jobs.

Bickel found himself digging for Blaberus cockroaches, used to feed some of the river museum's lizards.

Sutter travels to the zoo today

for his dirty job.

"He's going to follow along one of our animal curators and do zookeeping duties, including cleaning up after the penguins," Bickel said.

Cleaning the fish-eating birds' excrement ranks among the least-desirable jobs at the zoo.

"The penguin duties are usually reserved for those people lowest on the totem pole," Bickel said.

Here are the River Museum's results.

Categories: Clients in the News

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