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Psychic animals bid to emulate Paul the Octopus

PARIS, France, May 18- Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final and with Euro 2012 just around the corner, animals of all shapes and sizes are queuing up to succeed Paul the Octopus, the famous clairvoyant cephalopod from the 2010 World Cup.

Paul, an octopus who lived at an aquarium in the German city of Oberhausen, rose to fame during the last World Cup for correctly ‘predicting’ the outcome of eight consecutive matches at the tournament.

The tentacled soothsayer, who picked winners by selecting food from boxes decorated with teams’ national flags, passed away after the tournament, but there are now plenty of animals bidding to step into his (eight) shoes.

Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League showdown in Munich between Bayern Munich and Chelsea, a local sausage dog named Sissi and an octopus called Rosi from nearby Rosenheim have both predicted that Bayern will prevail.

Dachshund Sissi opted for a dish of food underneath a goal bearing the Bayern logo, while Rosi chose food from a box in Bayern red, apparently backing the Bavarians to beat Chelsea at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

But reports from England say Nicholas, the llama from Sussex, believes the Blues will prevail, after he chose a blue ball in his pen over a red one.

English tabloid the Daily Mirror reports that Nicholas’s prediction carries some weight as he correctly predicted Chelsea would beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Euro 2012 co-host Ukraine claims to have found a psychic pig with a snout for football who will be predicting results at the tournament.

The massive hog still has no name but is described by Kiev authorities in mystical terms that promise success similar to the one enjoyed by his eight-armed predecessor Paul.

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The pig will be presented in the fan zone on the city’s main avenue Khreshchatyk each match day at 4:00 pm local time once the tournament kicks off in co-host nation Poland on June 8.

The city administration issued a formal statement announcing it had found a “unique psychic hog who knows football secrets” and was proudly born and raised in Ukraine.

The pig is a well-loved animal in a nation famous for its ‘salo’ — a thick slice of especially lardy bacon that Ukrainians eat raw on top of a small piece of rye bread.

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