LACEY TOWNSHIP – The Green Bay Packers got a vote of confidence from Princess the Camel this week.
Princess, a resident of Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park in Ocean County, chose the Packers to win the NFL championship in this Sunday’s game.
“What started out as a fun weekly activity a few years ago has become an annual tradition,” said Popcorn Park General Manager John Bergmann. “Princess has her own fan base – probably as strong as some of this year’s NFL quarterbacks. She is definitely our MVP.”
This season, Princess has correctly chosen the winners of 11 regular season and post-season games, with nine incorrect guesses. Her best season in 2008/2009, when she accurately chose 17 out of 22 games, as well as the championship winner – the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Princess doesn’t follow the media coverage or check statistics online. Instead, she makes her predictions with graham crackers.
Early each week, Bergmann writes on his hands the names of two teams competing in a weekend or Monday night game. Princess, whose favorite snack is graham crackers, makes her game choice by eating the sweet treat from the hand that has the name of her favorite team written on it. Bergmann then announces Princess’s pick on the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park Zoo website, www.ahscares.org, a few days before the game.
Princess was once a beloved pet of Doris Duke, who raised Princess and her sister Babe from youngsters. The pair had their own barn, which was like a mansion, and they were taken on summer vacation with Mrs. Duke to her estate in Rhode Island. If the weather became inclement, Princess and Babe were put up in the solarium.
After this devoted animal lover passed away, her camels were still kept on her estate. Babe passed away several years ago, leaving just Princess. Princess’s caretaker was about to retire to Connecticut. When it looked like she had owhere to go, the Associated Humane Societies took her in to the Popcorn Park Zoo, where the gentle, friendly camel has happily made her home.
Popcorn Park Zoo was established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for wildlife, exotic and domestic animals that are sick, elderly, abandoned,
abused, or injured. The federally licensed zoo houses more than 200 of these animals and birds on seven acres in the heart of the Pine Barrens.
Popcorn Park is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on West Lacey Road, just seven miles from Exit 74 on the Garden State Parkway. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and children under 12.
(Photo courtesy of Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park)
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