PETA and Paul



When IndyBlog last wrote about Paul the Oracular Octopus, he'd just predicted that Spain would win the World Cup final against Netherlands, which the team promptly went on to do yesterday.

Now, the Oberhausen, Germany-based cephalopod finds himself embroiled (sorry, poor word choice) in controversy, including death threats from angry fans and a PETA scientist calling for his release from captivity. The Hill, a respected Washington, D.C., publication primarily written for and about the U.S. Congress, reported on the animal rights group's concern last Thursday:

"It is extremely thankless, imprisoning the intelligent octopus in order to use it as an oracle," said Dr. Tanja Breining, a PETA marine biologist, of Paul's current home in an aquarium in western Germany.

Well, not entirely thankless, since aquarium officials presented Paul with his own gold cup complete with three tasty mussels on Sunday.

Prior to his final victory, Paul had correctly predicted the outcome of every World Cup game involving his country's team, including its loss to Spain in the semifinals and its win over Uruguay in Saturday's third-place match.

His preferred methodology was to choose between two snack boxes, which were completely identical apart from having one of the opposing teams' flags affixed to each.

While PETA is recommending warm-water retirement off the South of France, the aquarium insists he's safer and happier in his own tank.

Personally, we think it's time to break out the snack boxes, grab a couple of German and French flags, and let Paul have one last say.

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