Max the lemur making World Cup predictions.
(photo credit: OZ MUALEM, YEDIOTH AHRONOT)
A lemur at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan has been predicting the outcome of the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.
Max, a red-necked lemur, who has lived at the zoological center for 12 years, was chosen over other animals "because he is so friendly," spokeswomen Sagit Horowitz said. "There was no need to train him at all." She said they let Max choose which food he wants to eat out of boxes with the country flags on them.
"We put three dishes in front of him, she said. "Two have flags of the competing countries and on the third in the middle is written 'tie.'" Max's job is to pick which dish he wants to eat from first.
So far Max has correctly predicted seven out of 12 matches, Horowitz said. His winning predictions include: Brazil, Holland, Colombia and Costa Rica.
Max makes his predictions early in the morning before visitors arrive.
Horowitz said the idea to have Max predict the games was inspired by an octopus named Paul who bet on games in the 2010 World Cup.
The safari also had its giraffe Dovale make predictions for the 2012 Euroleague.
Paul lived at the Sea Life Center in Oberhausen, Germany, and accurately predicted all seven of Germany's World Cup matches in 2010, according to a December 8, 2010, Guardian article.
He predicted match winners by eating a mussel out of a clear box with the winning country's flag on it. Paul died in October 2010, according to the article.
Other animals around the world are also attempting to predict matches this year, including Shaheen the camel and Big Head the turtle.