The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 19, 2014

Bet the farm: 5 'psychic' animals predict soccer victories

Need some guidance on whom to place your bets for this year's World Cup? Since Paul the Octopus achieved a prediction success rate of 85 percent in 2010, hosts of animal oracles around the world have sought attention as soccer sages. Here's a look at a few of them.

Nelly the Elephant

Nelly got into the prediction business in 2006 and correctly predicted the outcomes of 30 out of 33 matches covering the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. The prognosticating pachyderm has caused a stir in Germany by choosing the U.S. to defeat the Germans in this year’s World Cup.

Funtik the Pig

The snouted soothsayer, who lives in a pen in Kiev, Ukraine, first came to prominence when he correctly predicted four out of six group-stage contests in the Euro 2012 soccer championship. Funtik makes his picks by choosing between different bowls of food placed beside the flags of competing countries.

'Predictaroo'

A kangaroo living at the Australia Zoo in Queensland and originally called Flopsy, “Predictaroo” keeps it simple, choosing between food in two bowls labeled with competing teams’ names. She’s a bit of a homer, incorrectly choosing Australia to beat Chile in its Cup opener.

Sikko the Guinea Pig

The Netherlands resident may not have the following of Nelly or other animal oracles, but his picks for the games in Brazil are broadcast on a Dutch radio station daily, and he correctly chose his home country to beat Australia in group play this week.

Fred the 'psychic' ferret

Fred, a Ukrainian ferret selected to choose winners for Euro 2012, makes his predictions by nibbling from a labled selection of food dishes. While he's cute, Fred is only accurate about 60 percent of the time.

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