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World Cup 2014 Predictions: Psychic Animals That Predict World Cup Winners

World Cup 2014 Predictions: Psychic Animals That Predict World Cup Winners

The goals have been rattling in all week at
a sensational World Cup in Brazil but the animal kingdom seems to be still finding its
feet, fins and feathers when it comes to the prediction game. Paul’s unerringly accurate
picks from his tank at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, put him in a league
of his own during the 2010 finals in South Africa and earned him worldwide fame as a
soccer psychic. His death, of natural causes only months after he correctly predicted Spain
would beat the Netherlands in the final, was much mourned. There have been many pretenders
since, mostly copycat candidates proposed by those seeking to boost visitor footfall
or readership, but none with the accuracy or animal magic of the choosy cephalopod.
There are, it seems, no longer any easy predictions in international football. Australia Zoo’s
Predictaroo, also known as Flopsy the Kangaroo, bounced out of contention when she called
Portugal to see off Germany and the Socceroos to beat the Netherlands. Paul’s old Singapore-based
rival Mani the parakeet has gone quiet while Bern-based guinea pig Madame Shiva was on
the money with Switzerland to beat Ecuador but lost all credibility by tipping the Swiss
to beat France before the 5-2 rout. Germans have come up with a turtle in Schleswig-Holstein,
Penguin Ronald in Brandenburg, armadillos Taka and Flitz in Erfurt and Chemnitz, Nelly
the elephant and an otter called Ferret in Sachsen. After gobbling up England’s three
warm-up games for Britain’s Sun newspaper, Pele the piranha over-stretched himself by
forecasting now-eliminated England would rip through Italy in their opener in Manaus. Big
Head, a ‘psychic’ turtle from the Brazilian beach village of Praia do Forte, was more
accurate in predicting that Brazil would overcome Croatia last Thursday but it is still early
days. To help identify his choice of nation, workers at the Brazilian Sanctuary pin flags
of the competing teams above hanging fish. Whichever fish the turtle eats represents
his choice of team to win, while there is also a World Cup Brazuca ball over a third
fish which gives him the option of predicting a draw. It is a crowded marketplace but that
has not stopped World Cup host city Curitiba from getting in on the action with their own
‘psychic’ capybara. “Other predicting animals, they only tell you the results, Capybaras
are different,” City Hall spokesman Alvaro Borba confidently told Reuters Television.
Different enough to ignore the balls, carrots and goals in predicting the outcome of Brazil’s
Monday match against Cameroon. “That means the ball is going to be stuck in the midfield.
Nothing is going to happen at that game. It is going to be a game, a really boring game,”
declared Borba with a hint of desperation. “Capybara prediction is a science, you can
trust it.”

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