French Sea Lion Picking Euro Cup Winners

"Watson," who lives in a zoo in eastern France, accurately called World Cup games in 2014.

Published Jun 17, 2016

 (Pablo Joury/Facebook)
Image Via Pablo Joury/Facebook

Watson the sea lion lives a life at eastern France's Zoo d'Amnéville that by all accounts is a happy one. His days are filled with swimming, fish — and picking soccer tournament winners.  Now Watson is picking teams that he predicts will win the 2016 Euro Cup.

Watson's trainer, Pablo Joury, said the sea lion's particular gifts were first noticed in 2014, during the World Cup:

Following the example set by Paul the Octopus, Watson the sea-lion hopes his nose for winners will bring him international stardom – and a few extra fish – as he predicts the outcome of France’s games in the Euro soccer championship.

Weighing in at a sprightly 350 kg (771.62 lb), the middle-aged mammal, residing in a zoo in the eastern French town of Amneville, accurately forecast France’s passage to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, calling each game right until the French were knocked out 1-0 by Germany.

He signals his choice by picking up one of three ice-boxes bearing the flags of the rival teams and a “draw” sign.

Zookeeper Pablo Joury hopes Watson will be a worthy successor to the German octopus, who accurately predicted Germany’s 2010 World Cup run and became a celebrity before dying a few months later.

Joury showcased how Watson picks the winner on the zoo's Facebook page:

The Euro Cup runs through 10 July 2016.

Brooke Binkowski is a former editor for Snopes.

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