June 19, 2018 / 5:28 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Samara's oracle animals disagree on Denmark v Australia result

SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - If Zabiyaka the oracle goat is to be believed, Denmark’s World Cup Group C clash with Australia will end in a 2-2 draw.

A meerkat named 'Timon' prepares to eat from a container labelled with the national flag of Denmark during an event at a zoo in the Russian city of Samara, June 19, 2018, ahead of the Group C match between Denmark and Australia. REUTERS/David Gray

The white goat, hailed as the ‘Oracle of Samara’ in one of the city’s zoos, predicted Thursday’s match would be a draw by running to a bowl of food behind a sign indicating a tie.

After initially ignoring the food next to flags of Australia and Denmark, Zabiyaka then went to both bowls twice, which specifies two goals for each side according to the zoo’s Head of the Science and Education Aliona Kireeva.

“Today Zabiyaka predicted a draw for the Denmark-Australia match. Why she made that choice? No one knows, it’s her intuition, her guess,” said Kireeva.

“We just have to hope that she predicted correctly.”

A handler reacts as a goat named 'Zabiyaka - the Oracle Goat of Samara' eats a plate of food behind a sign in Russian meaning 'Draw' during an event at a zoo in the Russian city of Samara, June 19, 2018, ahead of the Group C match between Denmark and Australia. REUTERS/David Gray

Zabiyaka holds a 66 percent success rate in previous predictions and chose Belgium as the overall tournament winners before the competition started.

“We are happy with what she has predicted so far,” added Kireeva.

However, across the city in a petting zoo at the Park House mall, Timon the meerkat predicted Denmark would be victorious in a similar guessing game on Tuesday.

Whilst his partner Cleopatra ignored the worms laid out behind both flags, Timon eagerly tucked in to the worms in the bowl next to the Danish flag.

Zabikaya and Timon aren’t the only animals in Russia trying their hand at predictions.

There is a cat named Achilles in St. Petersburg, hippos Milya and Glyasik from Kaliningrad and a lemur in Yekaterinburg.

A handler reacts as a goat named 'Zabiyaka - the Oracle Goat of Samara' eats a plate of food behind a sign in Russian meaning 'Draw' during an event at a zoo in the Russian city of Samara, June 19, 2018, ahead of the Group C match between Denmark and Australia. REUTERS/David Gray

Denmark take on Australia in Samara on Thursday, fresh off the back of a 1-0 win over Peru in their opening game. Australia lost 2-1 to France in their first Group C match.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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