Are you ready for some football? Mote Aquarium’s resident manatees Hugh and Buffett are! Come cheer on Mote’s manatees at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4 as they predict the winner of the Super Bowl for the ninth year in a row.

Who will they choose for the winner of Super Bowl 50? Will it be the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers? Whether you’re a Broncos fan, Panthers fan, or just a manatee fan, this is something you don’t want to miss.

Hugh and Buffett serve as ambassadors for wild manatees and teach thousands of visitors each year how to protect endangered manatees in the wild. They are highly trained in behaviors that support their care.

“The training we focus on in our manatee exhibit revolves around husbandry behaviors, which help facilitate veterinary care, and research,” said Kat Boerner, Manatee Research Supervisor. “By having the manatees trained to go to targets, we are able to maneuver them around the exhibit and ask them for a variety of behaviors, which helps during veterinary care and during our research focused on manatee senses. The Super Bowl predictions are much like target training; we place a square PVC pipe structure in the exhibit with a photo of each of the teams competing in the Super Bowl. Hugh and Buffett take it from there to touch one of the two team logos.”

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, Hugh and Buffett will make their annual Super Bowl predictions. Buffett has accurately predicted the winner of the Super Bowl seven of eight times and Hugh has been right five of eight times. Who will be right this year?

Here is a record of Hugh and Buffett’s Super Bowl winner picks:

 Year  Winner              vs  Buffett’s Pick  Hugh’s Pick
 2015  New England Patriots  Seattle Seahawks  New England  Seattle
 2014  Seattle Seahawks  Denver Broncos  Denver  Seattle
 2013  Baltimore Ravens  San Francisco 49ers  Baltimore  Baltimore
 2012  New York Giants New England Patriots  New York  New York
 2011  Green Bay Packers  New York Giants  Green Bay  New York
 2010  New Orleans Saints  Indianapolis Colts  New Orleans  Indianapolis
 2009  Pittsburgh Steelers  Arizona Cardinals  Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh
 2008  New York Giants New England Patriots  New York Giants  New York Giants

The Super Bowl has become a national event since its debut in 1967. Since that time football fans from across the globe eagerly await Super Bowl Sunday each year to see the season’s best NFL teams go head-to-head. Super Bowl 50 will take place at 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 7 as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers compete for victory.

About Hugh and Buffett
Aside from being sports fans, Hugh and Buffett are the world’s most extensively trained manatees. Training helps their veterinary care run more smoothly and allows the two manatees to participate in innovative research about how they use their senses, such as hearing and touch to survive, and about their physiology. Mote’s research is designed to help resource managers protect these endangered mammals.

Moving forward, the researchers are studying manatee physiology. The primary goal of this study is to determine oxygen consumption and metabolic rates of manatees. To accomplish this, researchers will measure cardiovascular, metabolic and heat production of trained manatees during sedentary and active periods. The collected data may enhance physiological assessments of rehabilitating manatees prior to release.