42-year-old Yashoda tagged to pick winners’ flags before each match.
Elephant Psy-Kick: Zoo Tusker To Predict Euro Soccer Results
Yashoda, the oldest elephant at the Hamburg, Germany, zoo, was chosen to predict outcomes of the German national team. She will make the “predictions” a day before the game by sniffing and picking [what could turn out to be] the winning flag out of a box. If she pulls both flags at the same time, the expected result would be a draw.
“Our female elephant Yashoda is predestined for the predictions,” animal keeper Michael Schmidt said. “She is a real team player, enjoys the game and, at 42 years of age, is wise enough to be able to make a well-founded decision about the outcome of Germany’s games.”
The predictions begin June 14, a day before the German national team’s first game against World Cup champions France.
The zoo also organized a football match between the heavyweight trunk residents to showcase their football skills. The zoo’s team included elephants Mowgli, Shandra, Lai Sinh, Yashoda, Salvana, Kandy and Shila. Also, 3-year-old Raj and 2-year-old Santosh demonstrated their technique by dribbling past their teammates.
“Football training is a welcomed changed for the elephants,” Dirk Albrecht, the zoo’s managing director, said. “You can see how much fun they’re having.”
(Edited by Fern Siegel and Judith Isacoff)