A group of “mystic meerkats” have predicted England will beat Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.
The meerkats at Drusillas Park in East Sussex have a track record to admire.
Among those casting a vote were Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Tamu, Tyson and new arrivals Kane and Sterling, and they have correctly predicted England to beat Germany, Ukraine and Denmark leading up to the showpiece.
Head keeper Sophie Leadbitter said: “The whole zoo team can’t wait to see what England can do against Italy on Sunday.
“We’re so proud of our group of meerkats. We can’t quite believe how much attention they’ve been getting and they’re taking it all in their stride.
“Let’s hope England can take it the whole way and win on Sunday – the meerkats are on a roll and Gareth Southgate’s squad have done amazingly so far.”
Ms Leadbitter kicked things off by placing the buckets in the sand, with the England flag attached to the one on the left and the Italy flag on the right.
The whistle was blown and Tamu and Joey confidently moved into the England half. Their teammates pushed forward and did not even look at the Italy bucket. The meerkats even started to climb inside the England bucket to really make their feelings known.
Ms Leadbitter added: “It’s strange to think that this will be their last prediction… for now. But it’s the most important one yet – let’s hope it really is coming home on Sunday.”
The activity is part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which makes sure all the animals enjoy a diverse diet in imaginative and unusual ways.
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England will play Italy on Sunday at Wembley in the host nation’s first major final since they won the World Cup in 1966.
Animals have been used in the past to predict the outcome of football matches.
A German octopus shot to fame during the 2010 World Cup when he successfully predicted the outcome of eight matches.
He performed his trick by choosing a mussel from one of two boxes bearing the flags of competing nations.