Bragging rights for the winner of tonight's Monday Night Football game between the Detroit Lions (4-0) and the Chicago Bears (2-2) go beyond the gridiron with the city's zoos pouncing on the action.
Executive Director Ron Kagan sent an email to Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo President Kevin Bell that asked, "What if we wager on Monday night's game? Lions win and you send us enrichment for the lions here, Bears win and we'll send you a nice treat for your bears." Replied Bell, "You're on!"
Lions eat Chicago bear at Detroit Zoo (and no one got hurt!)
On Wednesday as part of a daily enrichment program at the Detroit Zoo, and to celebrate the Detroit Lions hosting a regular-season Monday Night Football game for the first time in a decade, zoo officials inroduced a meat-filled piñata to the lions. The piñata was shaped like a Chicago Bears football player and placed on the grounds of the lions exhibit.
More than 50 people gathered to watch as the lions entered the exhibit and slowly paced around the piñata. A lioness was the first to pick up the scent and eventually rip off an arm and have it for breakfast.
In the wild, would a lion or bear win?
The question is moot as lions live in Africa and bears do not, according to a Detroit Zoological Society press release, but the zoo chiefs weighed in hypothetically.
"The bear would have the advantage of size and strength, which it could use to overpower the lion," Chicago's Bell said.
"The lion would have the advantage of speed and could easily outpace the bear," Detroit's Kagan countered.
The answer – like the outcome of Monday's football game – is anyone's guess.