Grand Canyon animals compete in popularity contest

Grand Canyon at Hopi Point

Grand Canyon animals compete in popularity contest

CREATED Mar. 28, 2013

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - A version of March Madness has critters at the Grand Canyon pitted against each other in a popularity contest.

Grand Canyon officials joked that the cougar won by such a wide margin Wednesday that the gopher snake might not come out if its burrow again. The striped skunk also beat out the golden-mantled ground squirrel.

Voting takes place on Grand Canyon National Park's Facebook page.

The elite eight matchups begin Friday.

The ring-tailed cat will face the bobcat, while the common raven takes on the bighorn sheep.

The California condor and a colorful songbird also remain in the competition.

The winner will be decided April 5.

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