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)
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