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Escaped animals that rallied communities

We take a look at what happens when animals run wild, and if it helps the local team win more games, on behalf of the #DKRally campaign

An officer of the forest protection and nature conservation from the environment and forestry ministry holds an orangutan baby (pongo abelli) in Pekanbaru, on March 21, 2020, after being rescued from smuggling attempt using inter-city bus, as a cargo. Photo credit should read Jefta Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Yesterday we showed what happens when random animals show up at sporting events, often leading teams to victory. But what happens when random animals escape and capture the hearts and minds of the local community. What are the results when “rally animals” take to the streets? Does leaving your enclosure help the home team win?

Let’s find out what happens to the local teams when these rally animals galvanize their community, and also remind you that DraftKings will donate $1 dollar to United Way for every picture or video of yourself with the hashtag #DKRally to help with coronavirus relief, up to $1 million.

Llamas on the loose in Phoenix

A pair of llamas got away in Phoenix’s Sun City area. Llamas are pack animals, so the loyalty these two showed to each other was pretty cool. The llamas know we’ve got to stick together through a crisis. We can all learn from the llamas.

But did it work? It was a rough year for most Phoenix sports, but the Arizona Cardinals did go 13-3 and reach the NFC Championship game — which they lost 49-15 to Cam Newton and the Panthers.

The Bronx Zoo Cobra

For one week in 2011, the nation’s largest city came to its knees when a cobra snake had managed to escape its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo. It became quite a meme, and even developed a Twitter account that still runs strong today.

There was even a well-attended press conference once she was found:

Did it work? Afraid this wasn’t much of a rally snake, as no NYC teams got close to winning a championship that year.

Ken Allen the orangutan

The rally animal all rally animals should aspire to be, Ken Allen was an orangutan at the San Diego Zoo that kept managing to escape. In 1985 at the age of 14, Allen would sneak away when not being watched, and would do things like throw rocks at a grumpy old fellow orangutan he used to share an enclosure with. His handlers couldn’t keep figuring out how he did it, even employing “gorilla tactics” to figure out how he kept leaving his base.

Allen had fans everywhere, sold t-shirts in his honor, headlined a monthly newsletter, and even had a song written about him.

But did the escapes work for the hometown teams? Well in this case, taking away the freedom of Ken was detrimental to the residents of America’s Finest City: the Padres played in the World Series in 1984, but didn’t even get close from ‘85 until ‘87 and Allen’s last escape. And the San Diego State Aztecs made their first NCAA appearance as a member of the Western Athletic Conference just weeks before Allen found his first freedom — but didn’t return until 2002, two years after his death.

There’s a pretty clear message here from the animals above and the teams they rooted for: don’t escape, stay home, as your city and the teams you root for will be better off for it. Good advice we should all heed right now.