Paul, the octopus known the world over for his clairvoyant ability to accurately predict the outcomes of the 2010 World Cup soccer games, has died. According to the New York Post, he was found dead in his enclosure on Tuesday and appears to have just passed away peacefully due to natural causes. Paul became famous when he accurately predicted the winners of all of Germany’s 2010 World Cup matches.
Paul will remain in “cold storage” at Sea Life Center in Oberhausen, Germany, until decisions are made on how to mark his passing.
Animals have always fascinated many of us for some of their unique and uncanny abilities. Paul’s uniqueness brings to mind some other animals that have made themselves famous by acts that seem to set them apart from others.
One example of an extraordinary situation with an animal would have to be the incident in 1986 with Jambo, a silverback gorilla who resided at the Jersey Zoo. In what can only be described as horrific, 5-year-old Levan Merritt fell into the gorilla enclosure and became unconscious. What happened next no one could have predicted. Jambo placed himself between the boy and the other gorillas in the enclosure in a protective manner, and was even seen stroking the unconscious boy. The video can be viewed here at MSNBC.
In a similar incident in 1996, a Western Lowland Gorilla named Binti Jua rescued a 3-year-old who fell 18 feet into her enclosure. He became unconscious and Binti went over to his side, growling at other approaching gorillas; picked the boy up in a cradling positionl and carried him 60 feet to the access gate, where zoo personnel were able to retrieve the boy. all while her own infant was on her back.
In 1919, a Newfoundland named Tang is credit with having pulled 92 people to safety. In an article on National Geographic, a ship named Ethie ran aground on the Canada coast and Tang jumped into the water with the ship’s rope, where people on the shore were able to secure the line and pull the ship and its 92 passengers to safety.
Animals are truly wonderful and fascinating creatures. There are many animals out there doing extraordinary things every day. Whether it is the ability to predict things and events or saving people’s lives, one thing is clear: Our lives are better and more enriched by having animals a part of it.
New York Post – Paul, the clairvoyant octopus
LeLion.co.uk – Jambo
MSNBC – Jambo encounter with boy
Washington Post – Binti Jua
National Geographic – Tang