Princess the Camel to Be Honored Super Bowl Sunday
A memorial service will be held for Princess the Football Picking Camel on Super Bowl Sunday.
The 26-year-old Bactrian camel, who lived for the last 10 years at Popcorn Park Zoo, will be remembered at a service at Layton's Home for Funerals, 250 West Lacey Road in Forked River with special tributes and a video starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2.
Zoo Director John Bergmann told Townsquare Media that Princess' lifelong arthritis had become too much in recent months and she was having difficulty standing. After new medications failed to help, Bergmann made the difficult decision to euthanize her. She was surrounded by the zoo staff, veterinarians and trainers who had cared for her.
Princess came to the Associated Humane Society facility from the north Jersey estate of Doris Dukes in 2004 and eventually gained fame for her weekly pigskin prognostications.
Of all the groomers and employees at the zoo, Bergmann was closest to her. Starting in 2007 for Townsquare Media station 105.7 The Hawk he would lovingly take Princess out to her large outdoor pen, write the names of the two competing teams on his hands with a felt marker and place her favorite treat, graham crackers, in each hand. The cracker she chose to eat first would represent her pick.
Princess attracted media attention when she went 5-0 in her first picks and her predictions were featured in coverage of NFL championship games.
Her Super Bowl picks were amazingly accurate as she picked the Ravens to top San Francisco for Super Bowl XLVII, the Giants over the Patriots in 2012 and the Packers over Pittsburgh in 2011.
In her final pick, Princess successfully chose the Broncos to top San Diego in the AFC divisional playoff.
The zoo requests donations to a memorial fund established in Princess' name. Donations can be sent to Popcorn Park Zoo, 1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731. Write "Princess" on the envelope.
Jason Allentoff contributed to this report