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What's tougher, a Bear or a Lion?

The game is on! Detroit and Chicago Zoos putting their money where their animals are. It's the Bears vs. the Lions on Monday Night Football!

Chicago (October 5, 2011)---- The outcome of the NFL match-up on Monday night, October 10 will involve more than just bragging rights to Chicago or Detroit. When the undefeated Lions (4-0), host the game of the week against the Bears (2-2), at Detroit's Ford Field, the winners of the nationally televised contest won't be the only beneficiaries.

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." Replied Bell, "You're on!"

Enrichment is used to enrich 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 decsions, express individuality and behave in species-typical ways.

In actual match-up in the wild between a bear and a lion, 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.

The answer--like the outcome of the Monday Night Game---is anyone's guess.

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