Date
26 September 2017
The giant pandas will deliver their predictions through a series of competitive activities. Photo: chinapanda.org.cn
The giant pandas will deliver their predictions through a series of competitive activities. Photo: chinapanda.org.cn

Oracle of China: Pandas make World Cup forecasting debut

Rest easy Paul the Octopus. The giant panda is picking up where you left off.

China’s much loved Olympic symbol is holding court as an oracle of the 2014 World Cup which opens in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on June 12.

Pandas will deliver their predictions in a series of activities such as tree climbing and racing, Xinhua news agency reports.

During the group matches, the pandas will pick food from laundry baskets marked with country flags. In the knock-out stage, they will predict the winners in a series of competitive activities including tree climbing, according to the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center of China, the country’s largest panda conservation and research facility.

The center cares for 180 pandas in captivity as part of an effort to preserve the endangered species.

Paul the Octopus, a former attraction at a sea life center in Germany, came to worldwide fame by accurately predicting the winners in all but two matches involving the country — and picking the eventual champion, Spain.

Hatched in 2008, Paul died in October 2010, shortly after his prodigious World Cup reign.

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