News24

'Psychic' croc picks Aus PM

2010-08-19 12:23

Sydney - A "psychic" crocodile named Harry tipped Prime Minister Julia Gillard to win the razor-tight Australian election, siding with pollsters and bookmakers, and an octopus called Cassandra.

Harry, a feisty five metre saltwater crocodile, took several minutes to decide before snapping up a chicken labelled with Gillard's picture, snubbing another carcass representing opposition chief Tony Abbott.

"Harry's come over to the area, he's lifted his head in the air and he's just nailed Gillard as clean as you want," said Nigel Palmer, Harry's handler at Darwin's Crocosaurus Cove attraction.

"So we're thinking he's predicted the ranga (red head) to win the election."

Gillard can take heart from the endorsement after the crocodilian clairvoyant also correctly picked Spain to win last month's World Cup final against the Netherlands.

"Harry selected Spain over the Netherlands, so he knows what he's doing," Palmer explained.

Inspiration

Staff at the park were inspired to test Harry's prescience by German octopus "Paul", who shot to global fame after correctly calling eight World Cup games including the final.

Harry, a 750kg beast, is 45 years old and "in his prime", his keeper said, with an aggressive streak and a reputation as a "handler hunter".

"Nature says that the crocodiles have been around a lot longer than octopuses, we're talking 40-odd million years longer," he said.

"So we're sort of thinking that's his advantage over an octopus, he knows what he's doing."

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper's own "psychic" octopus, Cassandra, also called the vote for Gillard when the election was first called, while opinion polls and punters give the prime minister a narrow lead.

And what will happen to Abbott's chicken?

"That'll be turned into croc poo," Palmer laughed.