Manatees at Mote Marine make their Super Bowl picks
The manatees at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium split Thursday morning as to whether the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers will win Super Bowl 50.
Manatee Buffett chose the Broncos, while Hugh picked the Panthers.
“Every year for the past nine years we have placed a PVC structure with NFL team logos on either side of the structure in the exhibit with Hugh and Buffett,” Kat Boerner, Manatee research supervisor said in a statement. “Much like their target training, which revolves around research husbandry behaviors to help facilitate veterinary care, the manatees touch either side of the PVC structure to choose which team they think will win in the Super Bowl.”
Buffett is seven for eight so far, correctly picking the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks last year.
Hugh is five for eight. Last year, Hugh chose the losing Seahawks.
Hugh and Buffett are the world’s most extensively trained manatees, according to Mote.
Training helps their veterinary care run more smoothly and allows the two manatees to participate in research about their physiology and how they use their senses such as hearing and touch to survive.
Researchers are also studying manatee physiology to determine oxygen consumption and metabolic rates of manatees. The data may enhance assessments of rehabilitating manatees before they are released.
Super Bowl 50 will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.