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SALT LAKE CITY — The king of Hogle Zoo is throwing his support behind the New England Patriots come Super Bowl Sunday.
Vulcan the lion was given the task of predicting the winner of this year’s Super Bowl showdown between the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. He stepped into the role formerly filled by Eli the orangutan, who won national fame for correctly predicting Super Bowl champions seven years in a row.
Eli died in September of complications from breast cancer.
Zookeepers placed two papier-mache helmets bearing the competing teams’ logos in Vulcan’s enclosure Thursday while guests watched to see which one the lion would touch first. Without hesitation, Vulcan headed straight toward the Patriots helmet and pounced, according to a posting on the zoo’s Facebook page.
Vulcan picked up the helmet and walked around for a bit, solidifying his prediction, according to zoo officials.
Last year, Seahawks fans rejoiced when Eli ran into the enclosure and swiftly knocked down the helmet bearing Seattle’s logo. The Seahawks went on to beat the Denver Broncos 43-8.
The Seahawks and the Patriots will face off Sunday in Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium.