Spanish zoo angling to buy Paul the psychic octopus
Rachel Helyer Donaldson
JULY 15, 2010

Paul the psychic octopus; world cup football final results

World cup phenomenon Paul the octopus could be set to transfer to Madrid

Paul, the psychic octopus who correctly predicted the outcome of eight consecutive World Cup matches, may be brought out of retirement for a sensational late-summer transfer to a Spanish aquarium.

Earlier this week Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, where the eight-legged oracle currently resides, had said Paul was officially retiring from the prediction business. The English-born cephalod became a media phenomenon during the World Cup after guessing all seven of Germany's World Cup matches as well as last Sunday's final between Spain and Holland.

But on Monday zoo staff said that Paul would not be making any more predictions "either in football, or in politics, lifestyle or economy. [He] will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh."

Following Spain's historic World Cup win, however, Madrid's Zoo Aquarium claims to have begun talks with Oberhausen over bringing Paul to the Spanish capital. An aquarium spokesman told the Guardian that, as yet, no cash is on the table with the zoo hoping to negotiate an exchange of animals. But given that Madrid is prepared to offer Oberhausen "whatever they demand" to complete the deal, it is likely that if the transfer does go ahead it will need to be a cash-plus-animal swap.

If the bid is approved this would be Paul's second transfer. The two-year-old moved to Oberhausen from Weymouth's Sea Life Centre in 2008, shortly before he started predicting football matches. He correctly guessed four of Germany's six Euro 2008 games.

Paul will be treated "with tender loving care", the Madrid spokesman insisted. Despite this, it would be wise for Oberhausen to stipulate a clause ensuring that Paul is in no danger of being turned into pulpo con patatas should his delphic powers fail him in Spain.