BILLINGS — On Wednesday at ZooMontana, Pabu the Red Panda made his final Super Bowl prediction.
Pabu took some time to emerge from his tunnel, but once he came out, he beelined for the bamboo in a paper bag representing the San Francisco 49ers.
He briefly checked out the Kansas City Chiefs, but ultimately went back to the 49ers, predicting San Francisco will beat Kansas City.
“So this year, Pabu was pretty excited to go right for the 49ers. He obviously saw some of that hate last year on social media when he was wrong, didn’t want to be wrong this year," said Jeff Ewelt, the executive director of ZooMontana, on Wednesday. "But, I want to put out there, that if he is wrong, he told me exclusively, that he doesn’t want to do it next year. So we’ve got a couple volunteer animals that are ready to rock and roll. They raised their paws, ready to go. So we’ll see what happens. But next year might be a little different."
This is his second and last year predicting for the zoo, after he was incorrect in 2023, choosing the Eagles to beat the Chiefs.
“I was a little nervous going in, but the game looks really good. But now I’m confident," said Justin Hutchinson, a 49ers fan, on Wednesday. "Pabu picked it. Go Niners all the way! I’m excited."
It's a tradition that dates back more than a decade. Ozzy the Grizzly Bear originally made the predictions, and then Ahmari the Wolverine took over. Pabu got his shot in 2023 and again this year, but next year a new volunteer will be selected.
This year, Pabu once again went against the Chiefs. Will he be right in his choice?