Humans trying to outdo one another in making predictions about who will win the US election 2016 are quickly being upstaged by animal prognosticators.
In the Chinese year of the monkey, a prophetic primate recently made headlines when it chose to splash a kiss over a life-sized cutout of the GOP candidate Donald Trump instead of one of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The mystic monkey had previously won its predicting credentials by guessing the outcome of the 2016 European World Cup final.
The Chinese monkey's prediction was, however, challenged by that of a Scottish goat on 7 November. Adorned with a tartan beret and scarf, the three-year-old goat called Boots was already known to the UK press after predicting the outcome of the British referendum on 23 June.
In Russia too animals disagree on the outcome. Staff at a zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, drew pictures of the candidates on two food-filled pumpkins. The pumpkins were placed in the cages of a polar bear and of a tiger so the animals could reach their verdict, and they chose Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively.
Animal predictions have gained popularity since Paul the Octopus rose to fame in 2010 for his psychic prowess in predicting the results of the Fifa World Cup. Paul died in October of that year, but his legacy lives on and some organisations are keen to use animals' spotlight to highlight issues beyond the political contest.
In the US swing state of Florida, the Nova Southeastern University chose to bestow the prophesying task on to two predators, the mako sharks, whose journey through the Atlantic was monitored in conjunction with the presidential debates and ended on 4 November with a win for the Trump shark. "What happens on land isn't really going to have an effect on what the Clinton Shark and the Trump Shark are doing in the Atlantic Ocean," admitted the NSU in a press release, explaining that the research behind the project is actually pretty serious as it aims to learn more about the animals to prevent their extinction.
In India, the Chennai-based NGO Indian Community Welfare Organisation set up a fish tank in which the aquatic augur, named Chanakya III, a flowerhorn cichlid variety from China descending from a fish family of football forecasters, chose the feed placed on a boat bearing Trump's picture on seven occasions. The organisation's founder-secretary A J Hariharan told the local press they wanted to capitalise on the curiosity surrounding the presidential race to raise awareness of malaria.
All over the world animal lovers have joined the forecasting frenzy, sharing countless videos online showing their (mostly) four-legged companions picking a winner. From parrots to dogs, from pigs to turtles and a whole load of cats, not since Animal Farm have pets got this political.