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Madrid red carpet for Paul the octopus

world Updated: Jul 16, 2010 12:15 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

Madrid's main aquarium is rolling out the red carpet to get Paul, the psychic octopus who uncannily forecast Spain's World Cup win over the Netherlands, to grace the champion country with a visit.

The Zoo Aquarium sent a request to the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen in western Germany this week to host the mollusc, whose prescient picks during the tournament propelled him to international fame, a spokeswoman said.

"We have not received a response," she told AFP.

Paul made correct predictions of the outcome of all seven of Germany's matches as well as of Sunday's final by choosing to eat a morsel of food from a box emblazoned with the flag of the winning team.

TV stations in Germany and Britain broadcast live images of his decision for the final.

A Spanish town in northwestern Galicia, which celebrates an annual Octopus Festival has already requested that the salty soothsayer be allowed to join them as a guest of honour.

Whatever the decision, Paul has been rewarded with honorary citizenship of the town of O' Carballino.

A Spanish wildlife defence group, ADDA, has also suggested that he be given a spot to live out the rest of his days in a marine sanctuary in Spain, rather than cooped up in an aquarium.

In octopus terms, Paul is already a pensioner, at the grand old age of two-and-a-half. Octopuses generally live three years at most.

The art of match predicting became a dangerous job for the clairvoyant cephalopod with bitter fans sending death-threat emails to his German aquarium, saying "we want Paul for the pan."

At one point Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero jokingly suggested sending in a squad of octopus bodyguards.