Madrid red carpet for Paul

2010-07-16 12:07
Madrid – Madrid's main aquarium is rolling out the red carpet to get Paul, the "psychic" octopus who uncannily forecast Spain's World Cup win over the Netherlands, to grace the champion country with a visit.

The Zoo Aquarium sent a request to the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen in western Germany this week to host the mollusc, whose prescient picks during the tournament propelled him to international fame, a spokesperson said.

"We have not received a response," she told AFP.

Paul made correct predictions of the outcome of all seven of Germany's matches as well as of Sunday's final by choosing to eat a morsel of food from a box emblazoned with the flag of the winning team.

TV stations in Germany and Britain broadcast live images of his decision for the final.

A Spanish town in northwestern Galicia, which celebrates an annual Octopus Festival has already requested that the salty soothsayer be allowed to join them as a guest of honour.

Whatever the decision, Paul has been rewarded with honorary citizenship of the town of O Carballino.

A Spanish wildlife defence group, ADDA, has also suggested that he be given a spot to live out the rest of his days in a marine sanctuary in Spain, rather than cooped up in an aquarium.

In octopus terms, Paul is already a pensioner, at the grand old age of two-and-a-half. Octopuses generally live three years at most.

The art of match predicting became a dangerous job for the clairvoyant cephalopod with bitter fans sending death-threat emails to his German aquarium, saying "we want Paul for the pan".

At one point Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero jokingly suggested sending in a squad of octopus bodyguards.
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