World Cup wonder Paul the octopus has been succeeded by Nelly the elephant and a menagerie of other animals allegedly capable of predicting soccer outcomes, but the trend has gotten out of hand during Euro 2012, animal rights groups complain. "It's too much, almost every dog and pig in the country being made into the next oracle," the chief of Germany's Animal Protection Agency tells der Spiegel, likening the "tasteless" trend to forcing zoo animals to jump through hoops or putting chimps on TV. "We as a society should be careful not to make entertainment at the cost of our animals," he says.
The group is particularly unhappy about Ado, a python who "predicts" the outcome of games by devouring one of two live rats presented to it. The outcome of Germany's four games so far has been predicted correctly by a bulldog, a pair of otters, a pig, and Nelly, while the false prophets include an alpaca, a pair of tortoises, and Yvonne—a cow who became famous as a slaughterhouse fugitive who evaded capture for 98 days. She now lives at an animal sanctuary but isn't much of an oracle: She's whiffed on the outcome of all four games. Germany's next game is tomorrow night's semi-final against Italy.