17 July 2010
MADRID – THE Madrid Zoo said on Thursday that it has made an offer to buy Paul, the octopus who became a pop culture sensation by correctly predicting the outcome of as many World Cup matches as he has legs – all seven of Germany’s games plus the Spain-Netherlands final.
The zoo said it made the offer after receiving hundreds of requests from Spaniards for Paul’s transfer from a German aquarium after Spain won the World Cup on Sunday.
Zoo spokesperson Amparo Fernandez said an unspecified amount of cash was offered for the purchase of Paul, now a hero in Spain, which went wild after it won its first World Cup ever.
‘We hope that within the next few days we will be able to confirm news that the admirable Paul will be part of the club of the most loved and charismatic animals of the Madrid Zoo,’ said a statement from the zoo.
Paul’s owner – the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany – declined immediate comment and requested that a reporter send questions by e-mail.
The intuitive invertebrate was retired this week from predicting football game outcomes, and Madrid Zoo officials promised he wouldn’t be used again for similar duties. — AP