MOSCOW (Reuters) - With three days until the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod hosts its first World Cup match between Sweden and South Korea, a local zoo on Friday asked its “animal oracle” for the result.
Limpopo Zoo’s tapir, called Cleopatra, had the task of choosing between two fruit bowls — one with a Swedish flag on it and the other with a South Korean flag.
Cleopatra did not hesitate and walked straight up to the bowl representing Sweden and emptied it — meaning a win for the Scandinavian side in the Group F match on Monday.
Zoo director Vladimir Gerasimov explained the reason why Cleopatra might have a little better understanding of soccer than other animals.
“Because her homeland is Brazil and South America, this animal got the privilege to divine. Today, she predicted that the Sweden will win their match,” he said.
The tapir is a fruit and leaf-eating animal that lives in South and Central America but also in Southeast Asia. The pig-like creature is a rare choice to predict World Cup results.
So far during the competition in Russia, cats and monkeys have been the animals of choice.
Editing by Ian Chadband