Can the Mystic Meerkats score a prediction hat trick?
Can the ‘Mystic Meerkats’ score a hat trick with World Cup predictions?
A group of adorable meerkats at Drusillas Park in Sussex have now correctly predicted the last two World Cup results for the Lionesses’ games against Nigeria and Colombia – and now they are going for a hat trick with a third prediction for the semi-final against Australia. Known as the ‘Mystic Meerkats’, the mob have spoken once again and are backing England for the win!
The special method involves two buckets of tasty treats - each with a team's flag on. The buckets are placed down before the meerkats are released and left to choose which bucket they would prefer to eat from. The bucket surrounded by the most meerkats is declared the predicted winner.
The ‘Mystic Meerkats’ have been predicting football results since 2021, and last year the mob correctly predicted the Lionesses’ results all the way to the Euro 2022 finals when the ladies brought it home – and they are hoping their tradition will bring England luck once again. Keepers say the meerkats now recognise the buckets and run excitedly to get involved, with lots of happy chirping sounds as they choose which bucket to feast from.
Although it might seem a strange activity for meerkats, the activity forms part of the zoo’s daily enrichment programme, which makes sure all the animals enjoy a diverse diet in imaginative and unusual ways. The activities encourage them to think and work for their food, like they would in the wild - and it's now become a bit of a tradition at the zoo and the meerkats run over excitedly when they see the buckets.
Zoo Section leader Claudia Farley said: “Whether you are superstitious or not, the meerkats have a pretty impressive track record with their predictions so maybe they know something we don’t! It’s now become a tradition here at the zoo and this year even our new baby, Reggie who is only a couple of months old, was in on the action too. We’re big football fans here and are so proud of our Lionesses, so it would be amazing for England to win as the meerkats have predicted."
Claudia continued: “They seemed very confident in their decision today, with almost all of the meerkats scrambling to get in the England bucket – it’s amazing how many of them can fit in there, and there were lots of little tails and rear ends poking out the top. Even after the food was all gone, it was a struggle to coax them back out of the bucket, so we think that means they are very sure!”
Keepers have everything crossed the meerkats are correct and hope to be cheering on the Lionesses in the final.