Meet Nelly, the New Soccer Oracle

Sad trumpet: Yanks will lose Women's Cup Finals
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 14, 2011 2:48 AM CDT
Nelly get's ready to trunk a soccer ball into a net at the Serengeti-Park in Hodenhagen.   (AP Photo/dapdJoerg Sarbach)

(Newser) – Move over Paul the Octopus (OK, so maybe he can't move because he's dead). The latest amazing oracle of World Cup winners is Nelly the adorable baby elephant. The 18-month-old predicting pachyderm has so far picked the winner of every German match and the semifinal victors in the Women's World Cup. How does Nelly do it? By booting (actually, "trunking") a soccer ball into one of two nets marked with the flags of upcoming contenders. "Sometimes we have to be careful that she doesn't dismantle the playing field," says a German zoo spokeswoman of the big rambunctious baby. "Some days she isn't in the mood, but other days she gets really enthusiastic: She trumpets and runs so excitedly that the trainers have to really watch out."

The elephant's powers of prediction were discovered by chance, Der Spiegel reports. Two workers at Germany's Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen were kicking a soccer ball during a break and accidentally sent it soaring into Nelly's enclosure. The elephant immediately shot it into the air, so keepers decided to test out her choices with soccer nets. So what's in Nelly's trunk of predictions? She predicted the US-Japan faceoff Sunday. But get ready to shed elephant tears: Nelly says the Yanks will lose.

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