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Ukraine brings psychic pig to make Euro 2012 predictions

posted 6 Jun 2012, 02:46 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jun 2012, 02:46 ]

Ukrainian psychic pig will take over Paul the Octopus to predict Euro 2012 results.

KIEV, UKRAINE (JUNE 5, 2012) (REUTERS) - A psychic pig was lined up to take over where Paul the Octopus left off at the 2010 World Cup by predicting the results of matches at the European Championships in Ukraine and Poland.

A big hog named Khryak was presented late on Tuesday (June 5) to soccer fans in the main fan zone of the Ukrainian capital Kiev where the final match is due to take place next month.

Kiev's city government said it would wheel out the porky tipster to give daily forecasts once the tournament kicks off.

Khryak is among an array of 'psychic' animals chosen to predict the outcomes of the Euro 2012 football matches. Just like his friends Citta the elephant in Krakow, Poland and Fred the Ferret in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Khryak the hog will be making a series of public appearances to choose his preferred team.

Paul, who has since passed away, shot to fame at the 2010 World Cup after his feeding behaviour in an aquarium in Oberhausen was used to predict the winner of each of Germany's seven matches.

Kiev officials said they wanted to bring similar excitement to Ukrainians by bringing the telepathic pig to the city's fan zone before matches.

"It's a sequel to the legacy of Paul the Octopus. When we faced an issue to choose an animal to be a symbol of the Ukrainian (part of the) championship - the organizers decided to treat the choice with a certain sense of humour, not to be too serious, and since we didn't have too many associations to work with… a hog, a pig is not the worst association, it brings a smile," said Svitlana Bovkun, the PR director of the official Kiev Euro 2012 fan zone.

Perhaps Khryak the pig is not the most photogenic performer, but what he lacks in looks he makes up with a kind character and calm attitude.

"He really likes people, he enjoys interacting with them, not to mention he likes football. He reacts well to soccer balls, watches matches with his owner, he likes television, and we checked over two weeks his ability to predict the outcome of local and international matches and well… he has psychic ability, we would not have taken him otherwise. We'll see how accurate he is in just a few days," Svitlana Bovkun told Reuters.

The pig's unique charm has earned him the full support of the Euro 2012 staff who promise to secure him a long happy life far from the butcher's shop.

"He'll be fine; he will receive life-time support from UEFA and us as the organizers. Nothing will happen to him, he will remain the pride of his village and farm," Bovkun said.

The European Soccer Championships, which Ukraine will co-host with Poland, will start on Friday (June 8).