NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — Orange, a harbor seal at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, retrieves a football with an orange lei and Denver Broncos pennant, signaling her pick for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII.
The 31-year-old seal is trained to retrieve items placed into the exhibit by her trainers. Given two opportunities, she decisively went for Denver each time.
On Thurs., Jan. 30, Orange was given the choice of retrieving two footballs – one with an orange lei and Broncos pennant attached to it; the other, connected to a green lei and Seattle Seahawks pennant.
To prevent any confusion, Orange’s choice would be decided by two out of three retrievals. She decisively went for the Broncos’ ball twice.
“There’s no truth to the suggestion that she picked the Broncos’ ball because it has an orange lei and her name is Orange,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “She’s just a huge Peyton Manning fan.”
If it’s any consolation for the folks in Seattle, the Aquarium’s seals have proven to be pathetic pinniped prognosticators: they’re 0 for 2 in previous attempts to pick the Super Bowl winner.
“Based on their record, this may mean you should bet on the Seahawks,” Sigworth said.
Orange is one of seven harbor seals at The Maritime Aquarium. Their public feedings are offered at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 & 3:45 p.m. daily. Thursday’s Super Bowl selection was actually a fun variation on a daily behavior in which Orange retrieves and “recycles” an empty water bottle.
For more details about Aquarium exhibits, programs and IMAX movies, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.