By Tim Binnall
As has become custom in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, a veritable menagerie of animals residing at zoos and sanctuaries across the country have stepped or swum forward to predict the winner of Sunday's big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While corralling every creature that has offered a forecast is a task that even Noah would find daunting, a survey of the most prominent predictions to have made the news so far would seem to give KC's Patrick Mahomes a very slight edge over Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Backing the Chiefs on Sunday are three creatures out of Texas: Savannah the elephant from the El Paso Zoo, Bubbles the hippo from the Fort Worth Zoo, and Carlton the sloth from Moody Gardens in Galveston. Additionally, Dash the tiger cub from the Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, Nick the dolphin from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, and a white squirrel named Pisgah Pete in North Carolina have also thrown their lot behind Kansas City. And, perhaps more noteworthy of all, Duchess from Tiger King star Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue also weighed in with a nod towards Mahomes and company.
Meanwhile, Gambit the seal from the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina, Mari the elephant from the Honolulu Zoo in Hawaii, Sid the wolverine from ZooMontana, and Shani the Honeybadger from the Naples Zoo in Florida all predicted a win for Tampa Bay. Additionally, in the 'celebrity animal' department, the beloved hippo Fiona from the Cincinnati Zoo lent her star power to Tom Brady's team by prognosticating in their favor. Although this cursory count appears to put the Chiefs ahead of the Buccaneers, one may wish to wait before they wager, since additional predictions will undoubtedly be revealed in the days to come from various local television stations around the country, making this year's game something of a toss-up.