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Little Joe the Gorilla to put his N.Y.-Boston ties to test with Super Bowl prediction

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 1, 2012 03:44 PM

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Will Little Joe, a gorilla at the Franklin Park Zoo, go for the Patriots or the Giants?

LittleJoe.jpg
(Zoo New England)
Little Joe contemplates his big pick.
On Friday morning, two days before he plans to host a football-themed party to celebrate both his 19th birthday and the NFL title game, Little Joe will decide whether he thinks either the New England Patriots or the New York Giants will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Visitors are invited to watch the gorilla make his pick Friday at 10:30 a.m. in the Tropical Forest section of the zoo where staff will set up boxes with the two team’s name on them and wait for the soothsaying primate.

Then, on Super Bowl Sunday, the gorilla exhibit in the Tropical Forest where Little Joe lives will be festively decorated for a “Big Game Birthday Party” starting at 10:30 a.m.

Little Joe and all of his gorilla friends will enjoy birthday treats made especially for them. And, visitors will be able to sign a giant birthday card for Little Joe and eat cake made by White’s Fine Cakes & Pastry, which will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Zookeepers call Joe "The Scientist" as well as "Don Juan," and he is considered among the most intelligent of the animals at Franklin Park.

Little Joe has close ties to both New York and New England. He was born at the Bronx Zoo in 1993, but raised at Franklin Park.

“We know his heart lies with his family at Franklin Park Zoo, so we’ve got a feeling his pick will make us proud,” the zoo says on its website.

Little Joe, a particularly social, 5-foot tall, 300-pound gorilla who will turn 19 on Feb. 6, lives among the other gorillas at Franklin Park Zoo in a multi-million dollar habitat built after he escaped in 2003 on two occasion.

During his second, high-profile escape, the western lowland gorilla attacked and injured a 2-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, who was an off-duty zoo employee. The incident alarmed the neighborhood, sparked criticism and lawsuits against the zoo.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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