Thursday, Feb. 1, Mote Aquarium’s resident manatees, Hugh and Buffett, predicted the winner of the Super Bowl for the 11th year in a row.

So, who will win the big game? Well, it depends on who you ask. Buffett, who has the better record, chose the Philadelphia Eagles, while Hugh chose the New England Patriots.

“We have a house divided,” said Kat Boerner, Manatee Research Supervisor. “Buffett weighed his options carefully and ultimately picked the Philadelphia Eagles. Hugh was pretty clear on his choice, the New England Patriots.”

Hugh and Buffett are highly trained in behaviors that support their care; the Super Bowl picks demonstrate one such behavior.

“The training we focus on in our manatee exhibit revolves around husbandry behaviors, which help facilitate veterinary care, and research,” Boerner said. “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. This helps during veterinary procedures and during our research training sessions, which focus on manatee senses and physiology. The Super Bowl predictions are much like target training; we place a square PVC 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.”

In past years, Buffett has accurately predicted the Super Bowl winner eight of ten times and Hugh has been right six of ten times.

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




  Buffett’s Pick   Hugh’s Pick
 2017  New England Patriots  Atlanta Falcons  Atlanta Falcons   New England Patriots 
 2016  Denver Broncos  Carolina Panthers  Denver  Carolina
 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


Super Bowl LII will take place at 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 4, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

More about Hugh and Buffett
Hugh and Buffett are the world’s most extensively trained manatees. Training not only helps their care run smoothly; it also allows them 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.

Buffett the manatee swims past the New England Patriot's sign to bump the sign bearing the helmet design of the Philadelphia Eagles with his nose.Hugh the manatee hovers directly behind the New England Patriots sign, firm in his prediction.