PT the orangutan, 43, joined sports analysts around the world and chose a Super Bowl 51 winner Thursday.
PT, presented with two football piñatas, went straight for the red and black football, smelled it for a moment and then opened it right up, solidifying her prediction: the Atlanta Falcons.
The event was an enrichment technique, said Avery Elander, zoo public relations manager. The football piñatas were filled with some of her favorite treats — dried fruit, nuts and popcorn.
Orangutans are naturally curious, so this gave PT the opportunity to play and explore, helping improve her psychological well-being by changing up the exhibit, Elander said.
The Fort Worth Zoo has been doing the Super Bowl predictions since 1998, beginning with elephant Rasha. In 2002, the zoo began using different animals.
The animals have gotten it right in five of the past eight years, Elander said. Last year, Boudreaux, a 21-year-old black bear, chose the Carolina Panthers, which lost to the Denver Broncos. The last correct prediction was from Pancakes, the zoo’s pot-bellied pig, who picked the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl in 2014.
Will PT’s prediction turn out to be true? Only time will tell. The Falcons and the New England Patriots face off in Super Bowl 51 this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Houston.