The United States will be left as sick as a parrot Sunday after the Women’s World Cup final against Japan, according to the latest soccer psychic from the animal kingdom.
Olivia, a 10-year-old gray parrot, has been impressing visitors at her enclosure at Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi Prefecture by perfectly predicting all six of the team’s victories during its World Cup title defense in Canada.
Perched on a tiny stage adorned with artificial grass on Friday, she shunned the stars and stripes and swiftly picked up the Japanese flag with her beak and gave it to her keeper to indicate who would win the showdown in Vancouver.
Paul the Octopus became the face of animal-sports predictions when he correctly chose Spain to win the Men’s World Cup final in 2010 from his tank in Germany, but his death shortly after the final left a void.
Australia’s Flopsy the Kangaroo, Singapore’s Mani the Parakeet and Bern-based guinea pig Madame Shiva all came and went along with a host of others, including turtles, armadillos and elephants, with Olivia the latest contender for the crown.
Olivia is an old hand at predicting the future, having spent six years picking paper fortunes for zoo visitors. She was on the money in predicting Japan would beat Switzerland, Cameroon, Ecuador, Netherlands, Australia and England in Canada.
Olivia even hinted at the struggles Japan would face in Wednesday’s semifinal win over England, gifted to them after a late own goal, by twice picking up the English flag before dropping it and opting for Japan.