Phoenix Zoo Greater One-Horned Rhino Predicts Fiesta Bowl Winner

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelmeyer/SkyBoat

PHOENIX – Predicting the winner of a sporting event is never easy.

On Friday, Chutti, the Phoenix Zoo’s greater one-horned rhino, let the world know his prediction for the upcoming 2022 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Chutti’s prediction: Notre Dame all the way!

For the past 12-years, the Phoenix Zoo has partnered with the Fiesta Bowl to predict the winner. Primates and tigers have participated over the years. This was the first year for rhino Chutti to participate. The Phoenix Zoo animal has successfully predicted the winner about 50% of the time. Not great stats, but better odds than playing the slots in Laughlin, Nevada.

Chutti, a seven-year old male rhinoceros, was born in San Diego, lived in the Fresno Chaffe Zoo for years, and recently relocated to his new home in the Sonoran Desert. According to Linda Hardwick, VP of Marketing, Communications, and Events for Phoenix Zoo, “He is quickly becoming a guest favorite.”

Zoo keepers place two large cardboard boxes inside his habitat – one with the Oklahoma State logo and one with the Notre Dame logo. Both boxes are sprayed evenly with a blood orange scent to attract Chutti to the boxes prior to being released into the habitat. The box that he interacts with the most is considered his prediction to win the game.

It was a climatic event. He immediately entered the habitat and moseyed over to the boxes. He first smelled and placed his nose on the OSU box. For a few short seconds, Oklahoma State Cowboy fans cheered inside. But, like sports, it’s never over until it’s over. Seconds later, he smelled the Notre Dame box and then proceeded to bite it, carry it, and eventually destroy it by eating it entirely. One might say that’s what you call the luck of the Irish.

After the prediction, Hardwick said, “The wild card was we weren’t even sure if he would notice the boxes or what he would do with them, but he clearly showed us who he favors to win tomorrow. Chutti definitely is favoring Notre Dame. It was interesting because he nudged the OSU box just ever so slightly off a log, but then he went headfirst into the Notre Dame box and even tossed it up. And then he proceeded to eat the entire box while the OSU box is still sitting there and it’s 20-minutes later.”

The real question is can Notre Dame live up to Chutti’s prediction and win the 2022 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. We will find out on New Year’s Day. Kick-off from State Farm Stadium is set for 1:00pm EST. Oddsmakers currently have Notre Dame as 2 point favorites. Coincidentally, that’s right in line with Chutti’s prediction.

Written by Scott Finkelmeyer

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