Elephants the big hot dogs in Coney Island competition with big eaters
Elephants eat more than people! That’s the not-so-shocking result of the inaugural Coney Island hot dog bun-eating contest between three circus elephants and three competitive eaters.
At the end of the six minutes, Juliet Lee, Gravy Brown and Eric (Badlands) Booker collectively downed 143 buns – peanuts compared with the 505 buns scarfed up by elephants Bunny, Susie and Minnie.
“Our girls train every day. They eat 150 to 200 pounds of food a day. I knew they’d do fine,” said Jason Gibson, circus production manager.
Although the larger-than-life ladies – who are in town for the Ringling Brothers’ Boom A Ring circus this summer – cheated by starting a few seconds early, the humans didn’t stand a chance.
“This was a great challenge for our species,” said Major League Eating Chairman George Shea. “I expected that the humans would beat them.”
Bread crumbs flew as the elephants scooped up a half-dozen buns with each swift swoop of the trunk.
“I can’t compete with that,” said Booker, 39, an MTA train conductor by day. “If I had an elephant’s trunk, I could also eat a dozen buns at one time.”
The contest was good practice for Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest today.
“I just stepped up my bun-eating game,” Brown said.
Still, the contest may throw a monkey’s wrench into Brown’s main event today. “I usually have to fast for 24 hours before the competition,” he said, “but eating against elephants is something I couldn’t pass up.”
BY Veronika Belenkaya