SALT LAKE CITY – Sad news from the Hogle Zoo is making headlines across the country.
The orangutan named Eli, who predicted seven consecutive Super Bowl winners, has died.
He was 24 years old.
Eli was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
The Bornean orangutan underwent two surgeries to remove the original mass.
Zoo keepers said Eli lost his appetite recently and they worried the cancer had spread.
Veterinarians decided to operate on Eli in an effort to find out and he died during surgery.
“The staff, there’s going to be a huge hole in our heart,” Hogle Zoo Senior Veterinarian Nancy Carpenter said. “We love all of our animals and we take care of them daily, you know, hours and hours every day we spend with these animals, but some of them certainly warm our hearts more than others and he was one of the big ones, so it’s going to be hard for the staff for quite a long time.”
Eli was previously featured in a Sports Illustrated article for his phenomenal ability to predict Super Bowl winners.