Krakow - Paul the amazing clairvoyant octopus may be dead but now he has a worthy heir, a Polish-based Indian elephant named Citta.
Weymouth-born but German-based
Paul went down a storm during the last European Championships and the
2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa with his remarkable ability to predict
the winners of various matches, mostly involving Germany.
His overall record from the two
competitions was 12 correct predictions from 14 attempts, including a
100 percent record in South Africa.
And although he has passed onto
pastures new, Krakow based elephant Citta has taken over the baton and
so far has a 100 percent record.
According to zookeeper Jerzy
Pirog, Citta correctly predicted the outcome of the Champions League
final last month and has now been put to the test to predict the results
of Poland's group matches.
The co-hosts open their Group A campaign against Greece on Friday and according to Citta, they can expect to win.
Presented with a choice of three
melons, each set out in front of either the Polish flag, the Greek one
or a banner proclaiming a draw, 33-year-old Citta scooped up the one in
front of the Polish flag.
Whereas Paul the Octopus was the
original self-made psychic, Citta had to come through an X-Factor style
competition to earn her chance.
But having beaten off competition
from a parrot called Kuba and Black Mary the donkey, Citta is being
trusted with the vital role of showing the way for betting coupons up
and down the country.
“Everything happened before the
final of the Champions League between Chelsea and Bayern Munich,” said
Pirog, a vet who specialises in monkeys and birds.
“We did this test with the elephant, an African Grey Parrot and a donkey.
donkey and the parrot decided the winner would be Bayern Munich but only
the elephant got the right winner, so we decided she's got psychic
The Krakow Zoo thought it would be
a bit much to task Citta with predicting the outcome of every match so
they're just going to put her powers to the test for Poland's games.
However, should she prove as
talented as Paul the Octopus, they're planning on rolling her out for
the knock-out rounds as well.
It's been a long road for the
Indian elephant to reach this illustrious stage in her career, having
previously worked for a German circus and then entertained visitors at
nature parks in Austria and Spain as well as the zoo in Hamburg.
Given the recent football betting
Calcioscommesse match-fixing scandal in Italy, it is not yet clear how
UEFA will react to Citta's predictions, although it is worth noting that
Paul was never sanctioned during his career.