KRAKOW, Poland – Poland soccer fans will hope that Citta the elephant keeps her track record of getting all her predictions wrong for European Championship matches.
The wrinkled 33-year-old pachyderm on Friday chose a melon marked with a draw between Poland and Czech Republic for the final Group A match on Saturday. If her prediction comes true, Poland would be eliminated from the tournament because the co-host nation needs to win to advance to the quarterfinals.
Citta got her first two predictions wrong. She guessed Poland would win its first two matches, both of which ended in 1-1 ties.
The elephant, who lives at the Krakow Zoo, was given a choice Friday of three melons — each one placed above an image of either the Polish or Czech flag or an 'X' representing a draw.
She first pointed her trunk toward Poland, moved it toward Czech Republic, letting it linger a bit before she reconsidered and seized on the melon representing a tie.
"Well the Polish flag and the Czech flag are very similar — I don't know, maybe she didn't want to make the mistake and decided the draw will be the safe score," zookeeper Jerzy Pirog said.
Citta is one of several pretenders to a throne vacated by Paul the Octopus, who won fame by correctly predicting eight matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Other wannabes include a pig and ferret in Ukraine and a cow in Germany. None, however, have Paul's clairvoyance.
Zoo director Jozef Skotnicki has confessed that zoo officials looked for a "psychic" animal in part to gain a little attention for the city during the tournament, which is being played in four other Polish cities as well as four Ukrainian cities.