Mystic animals vie for crown of Paul the Octopus at Euro 2012
Two elephants, a pig, ferret, llama and others are predicting football results this summer
AFTER the psychic powers of Paul the Octopus (pictured) made him an international superstar during the 2010 World Cup, an army of animal clairvoyants is lining up to predict the results at Euro 2012.
The mystic menagerie includes beasts of all shapes and sizes from across the continent, all of whom are credited, by their publicity-hungry owners at least, with an interest in football and the ability to see into the future.
The Metro says that another octopus, this one called Paulus, is leading the field, but it adds: "Two elephants, a ferret, a pig and a llama are among the host of animals that have also been credited with psychic powers."
Sadly, Paul the original psychic cephalopod, died soon after correctly predicting the results of all Germany's games and the final in the 2010 World Cup. But his place has been taken by Paulus, who hails from Germany but now lives at an aquarium in Portugal.
Several of the animals hail from the host countries of Ukraine and Poland. In Kiev, a pig called Khryak will be brought out ahead of matches to divine their outcome using plates of food, reports Radio Free Europe. "Kharkiv, not wanting to be outdone by the capital Kiev, is touting Fred the Ferret as having soothsaying skills," it adds.
Over the border in Poland, Citta the elephant has been predicting results at Krakow zoo, by choosing mangoes placed above national flags. She has already predicted that Poland will beat Greece on Friday.
In the Netherlands, another elephant, called Nelly, predicted Germany would beat Portugal by kicking a ball towards a German flag. And at a zoo in Germany an otter with no nickname also predicted a German win.
And there are plenty of others. Among the animals hoping to translate their knowledge of club football to the international arena are a German sausage dog called Sissi and Nicholas the llama from East Sussex.
So far Nicholas has the better record: he correctly predicted that Chelsea would win the Champions League final, while Sissi backed Bayern Munich.