England v Italy: ‘Mystic’ meerkats make their prediction for the Euro 2020 final
The meerkats at Drusillas Park in Alfriston have got all their predictions right for England’s games so far and are backing Gareth Southgate’s men once again for Sunday night’s final.
The park’s meerkats, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Tamu and new pups Kane and Sterling, made the prediction while Apollo, Buzz and Tyson watched from the sidelines.
A spokesperson for the park said: “It was a clear England win.
“The mystic meerkats are backing the Three Lions and are sure that it really is coming home.
“They haven’t been wrong yet so all eyes will be on the final on Sunday.”
England were backed by the meerkats after the group went to the bucket with the country’s flag on the front.
The spokesperson added: “What started off as a bit of fun as part of the park’s enrichment programme has snowballed into a big buzz around the mob.
“First, they predicted England would win against Germany, then Ukraine and then Denmark.
“Now they’ve predicted another win for England against Italy – the first major football tournament win for the men’s team since 1966.”
Deputy managing director Cassie Poland said: “The atmosphere and buzz around the meerkats is amazing.
“At the park we’ve been so impressed by England’s performances and team spirit so it’s been great to get behind the squad and show our support.
“It’s been a difficult 15 months for many of our visitors, staff and for the park so it’s been brilliant to see the smiles on people’s faces and the great atmosphere that’s come from the mystic meerkats’ predictions and then England’s results.”
Although it might seem a strange activity for meerkats, the predictions are part of the zoo’s enrichment programme which makes sure all the animals enjoy a diverse diet in imaginative and unusual ways.
The activities encourage them to think and work for their food as they would in the wild.
Head keeper Sophie Leadbitter said: “The whole zoo team can’t wait to see what England can do against Italy on Sunday.
“The meerkats are on a roll and Gareth Southgate’s squad have done amazingly so far.
“The keepers were so impressed by attackers Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling that we’ve actually named the group’s newest babies after them and it really suits them.”
A version of this article was published on our sister title, Eastbourne Herald