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Germans Love Their Psychic Sports-Predicting Animals
The Euro 2012 soccer tournament is just the latest sporting event that has Germans looking to nonhuman forecasters
Paul the World Cup octopus has been gone two years, but Germans haven’t gotten over their faith in animals’ ability to predict winners. The use of odds-makers like otters Ferret and Mormel, Yvonne the cow and Traudl the goat is getting under the skin of animal-rights activists. “These days, everybody who has an animal seems to put it in front of a camera,” complained Marius Tunte of advocacy organization Tierschutzbund.
A python named Ado ate one of two rats to predict the winner of the Germany-Denmark match; Yvonne consistently picks losers; Nelly the elephant kicks a ball into one of two flag-draped goals; Emma the pig runs through one of two doors and so on. Tierschutzbund claims making animals handicap soccer games compromises their dignity.
So far, no one seems worried that millions of Germans tuning into radio and TV shows to find out which team is favored by an alpaca or ferrets may do grievous harm to their own dignity. And if Americans see Jesus in a grilled cheese or the Virgin in a stain, can it be long before Miss Cleo claims to know who’ll take gold in tumbling?