June 30, 2018 / 3:20 PM / 19 days ago

Harry the oracle otter predicts Spain victory over Russia

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Spain will beat Russia in Sunday’s World Cup last 16 match in Moscow — at least if you believe Harry, the so-called ‘oracle’ otter in Sochi who has so far correctly forecast the hosts’ two victories and one defeat at the tournament.

Harry, an oracle otter, sniffs a ball labelled with FIFA World Cup teams signs at the Zoo in Sochi, Russia, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Evgeny Reutov

When a Sochi aquarium employee tossed two balls into a pool on Saturday, Harry swam straight over to the red and yellow one labelled Spain, grabbed it in its mouth and dropped it on the side of the pool.

The white, blue and red Russian ball was left floating.

After trouncing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament’s opening game and then beating Egypt 3-1, Russia lost 3-0 to South Americans Uruguay. Harry has correctly forecast the results of all three games.

Harry is one of a menagerie of animals predicting World Cup games, with rivals including Samara’s white goat Zabiyaka, St Petersburg’s cat Achilles, Kaliningrad’s hippos Milya and Glyasik and Nizhny Novgorod’s tapir Cleopatra.

The Sochi aquarium took Harry in as a baby after he was found at a car wash in 2013, aquarium director Zhanna Zazina said.

Editing by Toby Davis

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