World Cup 2018: How the 'Oracle' Animals Fared in Their First Predictions
A resident cat of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg knew before the first match that Russia would come out on top.
Gamblers should have consulted these insiders before placing their 2018 World Cup bets.
Achilles, a cat left deaf by an undisclosed birth defect, correctly prophesized Russia would defeat Saudi Arabia in the first match, before the host country won 5-0.
Before kickoff, the resident cat of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg was presented with two plates of cat food, each marked with the flag of the opposing countries.
After several moments deep in thought, Achilles reached for the plate of his home country.
"I'm sure he made the right prediction," said Anna Kondratiyeva, the veterinarian who cares for the cats living in the Hermitage. "He loves his motherland and couldn't vote any other way."
Achilles was made the official oracle of the 2018 World Cup earlier this week and officials say his training regimen included practicing his intuition skills and adhering to a strict diet.
Unfortunately, Spartak, a lemur at the Yekaterinburg Zoo, didn't come to the same conclusion.
The primate predicted just before kickoff that Saudi Arabia would defeat Russia in the match.
The prediction came when Spartak, who took more time between meals, reached for a banana in a cup marked "Saudi Arabia," which had been placed on the opposite end of a miniature soccer field from where a cup marked "Russia" had been placed.
Zookeepers insist Spartak is a reliable insider because of the colors on his fur — black and white, which mirror the colors of a soccer ball.
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