published on February 2, 2017 - 5:44 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s male African lion Chisulo predicted Thursday that the New England Patriots will win Super Bowl 51.


For the last 10 years or so, Marketing Manager Ciara Castellanoz said the zoo has let one of its animal’s choose which football team it thinks will be victorious.

Last year, lioness Zamaya correctly predicted that Peyton Manning would lead the Denver Broncos to victory. In 2015, Lazarus, the white-faced whistling duck wrongly bet on the Seahawks when they faced off against a hot New England team. For two years prior to that, Siabu the orangutan incorrectly chose the Broncos (2014) and 49ers (2013). Alex, another orangutan, got lucky in 2012 in picking the New York Giants after wrongly choosing the Pittsburg Steelers in 2011.

“This is a really fun way for us to get some of the community involved and more of the zoo members involved with what is going on with the Super Bowl,” said Nathaniel McIntosh, a primary carnivore keeper with the zoo.

Chisulo seemed uncertain of his pick at first, sniffing and playing with paper mache team helmets displaying each teams mascot before finally tearing into the Patriots helmet and devouring the raw meat within.

“Each one of those balls had a knucklebone in it, and Chisulo was able to pick,” McIntosh said. “He came out, went straight to the Patriots ball, then went over to the Falcons ball, nosed it a little bit, but eventually went back to the Patriots and that was the one he focused on.”

Chisulo’s pick may put him in the cathouse, as lioness Zamaya, who finished off the Atlanta Falcons treat, was born at Zoo Atlanta. McIntosh said Chisulo shouldn’t see too much backlash, however, as lioness Kiki, Zamaya’s mom, is neutral, having hailed from Santa Barbara originally.

“Zamaya might not be too happy with him for choosing the Patriots, but Kiki, on the other hand, is from Santa Barbara so she may not care a whole lot,” McIntosh said.

e-Newsletter Signup

Our weekly poll

Do you agree with Gov. Newsom's decision to tighten lockdown restrictions?

Loading ... Loading ...

Central Valley Biz Blogs



Article views


Sign up icon

To continue website access to

please create a FREE account OR login here.


Article views


For only $59 for one 1-year you will receive the Print edition along with EVERYTHING The Business Journal has to offer digitally, PLUS you will have unlimited 24- hour a day access to view articles at

Use Promo Code

*New Subscribers Only

Digital and Print

XX Days Remaining

until you can view 5 more free articles

Sign up icon

Want access? Subscribe now & save $20 OFF.

Use Promo Code