'Psychic pandas' no threat to octopus Paul's legacy | other | Hindustan Times
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'Psychic pandas' no threat to octopus Paul's legacy

other Updated: Nov 17, 2010 02:11 IST

First there was Paul the octopus, now there's Bo Si, the 'psychic' panda. Bo Si picked a Chinese athlete to be the first gold medal winner of the Asian Games -- and Yuan Xiaochao promptly won the wushu, boosting the popularity of the 12 giant pandas at Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou.

But given China are so dominant, are favourites to finish top of the medals table and have the biggest squad at the Games, critics said it hardly proved Bo Si's telepathic powers.

And it emerged Bo Si had been given the option to pick a bamboo shoot, which represented a Chinese winner, or an apple for a foreigner. Pandas exist on a bamboo diet.

"The pandas have tended to favour Chinese athletes," said the China Daily of the 12 giant "predicting" pandas.

"The pandas are expected to help the park attract more tourists during the Asian Games," the paper quoted a park staff member as saying.

Paul the octopus shot to fame during this year's football World Cup in South Africa for his flawless record in predicting game outcomes, leading to a spate of copycat "prophetic" animals, albeit with far less success.

Paul died at an aquarium in Germany last month.