Detroit and Chicago Zoos wager on Lions, Bears

By Jeffrey Buck

Looks like there is more at stake than just a victory tonight when the Lions host the Chicago Bears for their first Monday Night Football game since moving out of the Pontiac Silverdome nearly 10 years ago.

Either the Detroit Zoo or Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo will also benefit from the final outcome of the nationally televised event at Ford Field. A wager was placed between the Zoo’s executive director and president.

The bet went down like this:

Detroit Zoo executive director Ron Kagan wrote in an email to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo president Kevin Bell, “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.”

To which Bell replied, “You’re on!”

What you ask is the “treat” the winner will receive? Enrichment, which is used to enhance zoo animals’ habitats to make them more dynamic and engaging.

It includes the introduction of novel and sometimes unpredictable elements such as objects, sounds, scents or other stimuli that give the animals the opportunity to express choice and control in their environments and to make decisions, express individuality and behave in species-typical ways.

When the players take the field in Detroit, it’s obvious that Stafford (Lion) could devour Jay Cutler (Bear)! But out in the wild it’s not so cut and dry, as in an actual match-up in the wild between a lion and a bear, which would win? The question is moot as lions live in Africa and bears do not, 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,” said Bell.

“The lion would have the advantage of speed and could easily outpace the bear,” countered Kagan.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when the clock runs out.

More information on each Zoo:

Lincoln Park Zoo

– Founded in 1868

– Conservation science leader maintains high-quality animal care and educational outreach.

– The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos.

For more information, call (312) 742-2000 or visit

Detroit Zoological Society

– The nonprofit Detroit Zoological Society is celebrating its 100th year and operates both the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

– The Detroit Zoo sits on 125 of naturalistic habitats at the intersection of 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, just off I-696, in Royal Oak.

– The Zoo is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March.

– Admission is $12 for adults 15 to 61, $10 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $8 for children 2 to 14 (children under 2 are free).

– The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round; admission is free.

For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

About Jeffrey S. Buck

I'm currently a Project Manager at Cypress Partners, LLC in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism. Looking to broaden my view of the world, I spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Salford, a Greater Manchester University in England. I enjoy doing an array of activities, including following Detroit sports teams, SCUBA diving, traveling, reading, playing tennis, hand-written letters and going to the movies. I am the co-founder of the Woodward Spine, a blog about Detroit and its surrounding communities. The Woodward Spine aims to inform its readers about relevant news and events through creative and informative posts in these core areas: news, opinion, entertainment, history, sports and development. The Woodward Spine serves the tri-county metro Detroit area, concentrating mainly on the communities that lie along the Woodward corridor.
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1 Response to Detroit and Chicago Zoos wager on Lions, Bears

  1. Brandoizer says:

    Brandon Hassan brought me here.

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