Camel known for football picks euthanized at New Jersey zoo

Jan. 19, 2014 at 3:07 PM

FORKED RIVER, N.J., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A well-loved camel was euthanized at the Popcorn Park Zoo in New Jersey after severe arthritis made it impossible for her to stand, officials said.

Princess, who was known for picking the winners of football games, including Super Bowl winners, for the past 10 years, was euthanized Tuesday, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reported. She was 26 years old.

"She had to go in dignity because that is how she lived her life," said John Bergmann, manager of the Associated Humane Society's Popcorn Park Zoo. "Her absence leaves a big void in the park. It was not just her size, but her personality, and to not have her here leaves a big hole."

Princess arrived at Popcorn park 10 years ago from a private estate after her owner died, Bergmann said.

Shortly thereafter, she began picking football game winners after the Stafford-based radio station WCHR-FM called the zoo and asked for an animal to pick Super Bowl winners.

"She was a natural," Bergmann said. "We just used some graham crackers."

Princess last picked Denver to beat San Diego last Sunday in the NFL playoffs, which turned out to be correct.

A memorial is being planned for Princess, but the plans have not yet been finalized, Bergmann said.

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