Over the years a number of animals have been put to the test of predicting the results of important sports fixtures – from pigs to otters.
Most notably, there was Paul the Octopus who became known as an animal oracle after he accurately predicted a number of outcomes during the 2010 World Cup.
Now it’s a bunch of meerkats who are trying their paws at psychic sports readings.
But will they get it right a second time?
The Mystic meerkats have had a go at predicting the outcome of Saturday’s England v Ukraine Euro 2020 quarter-final game in Rome.
The group of meerkats includes Chandler and Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Rachel, Tyson, Tamu and the park has just welcomed two new pups who have been named Sterling and Kane after the goalscorers in their last-16 victory.
Keepers put them to the test this week labelling two food buckets, one for England and one for Ukraine to see which the meerkats would go for.
They shared the results in a video for all to see.
In the clip, the meerkats can be seen having a little stretching warm-up before their mystical talents were put to the test.
It started to look like Ukraine might be their pick for the game when meerkats Chandler and Monica went straight for that bucket but Phoebe, Ross, Rachel, Tyson, Tamu and babies Kane and Sterling were having none of it and rushed forward to force a clear victory for the Three Lions.
They’ve got it right once and the team at the Park are hoping they can do it again and England will be victorious.
And while this might all seem like a rather unusual way for the animals to be spending their time, it turns out there is a method behind the madness.
The whole process is part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which ensures a diverse diet is enjoyed in imaginative and unusual ways. Enrichment is carried out within all the enclosures each day to encourage the animals to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild, as well as providing mental stimulation.
Zoo Animal Manager Mark Kenward said: “There’s a real buzz around the mystical meerkats since they predicted England would win against Germany and got it right! They’re enjoying their five minutes of fame and the Keepers are glad they backed England again.
“We’re all hoping they make the semi-finals but we’ll have to wait and see! Of course, we wish everyone luck but it would be great to see it come home.”
“All the animals we have at Drusillas Park are very intelligent and require stimulation physically and mentally and this is perfect for them. They all enjoyed their favourite treat of mealworms while enjoying some football-themed enrichment!”
Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk.
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