China has come up with its own answer to Germany’s former soccer oracle Paul the Octopus – a group of baby pandas to predict the outcomes of matches for the World Cup in Brazil, Xinhua reported on Monday.
The Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre in Sichuan will arrange for the young pandas to predict winners by choosing food, climbing trees and racing.
During the last World Cup in South Africa, Paul the Octopus became an international sensation after successfully predicting the outcome of seven games and the final from the sanctuary of his aquarium tank in Oberhausen, Germany.
Xinhua reported that the Panda World Cup prediction would involve a host of activities to try and predict games between competing nations. For the group matches, the pandas will be let loose on three bamboo baskets containing food to predict a win, a loss or a draw.
In the knockout rounds, the pandas will be asked to climb trees marked with different national flags on the trunks. They will also be given different vests to wear as they take part in races to predict the winning nations.
The Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre was set up in the 1980s, with three bases in Wolong, Yaan and Dujiangyan, which collectively are home to more than 180 of the rare animals.