September 1 2014 Latest news:
Andrew Fitchett, Reporter
Monday, June 30, 2014
Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage, Phil Neville and Andy Townsend step aside - there’s a new pundit in town.
Place of Birth: Isle of Wight - originates from Uruguay
Top Speed: 35mph
Eats: Unlike compatriot Luis Suarez, anything but people
Introducing Milo, an armadillo from Banham Zoo who will be putting his armour-plated hide on the line as our results predictor through the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Before each game, the eight-year-old will be picking the winner with the help of Banham’s lead animal trainer, Steve Eales.
Milo’s highly-scientific selection system will see food placed under the flags of the two countries set to face each other. Whichever flag Milo heads to first for the food will be his prediction.
And the thick-skinned pundit has already shown his pedigree in trial runs during the group game by correctly predicting that Uruguay would beat England in their encounter.
Brazil v Chile
Milo’s pick: CHILE
Colombia v Uruguay
Milo’s pick: URUGUAY
Holland v Mexico
Milo’s pick: HOLLAND
Costa Rica v Greece
Milo’s pick: GREECE
But Mr Eales, who has worked with Milo for five years, said Milo may have been biased in his selection.
“He actually comes from Uruguay so that might be why he picked them to win. We did it as a bit of fun in our Amazing Animals show and it was great because a lot of people were actually cheering when he picked Uruguay.
“I wish we had put our money where our mouth is though because when I watched the game I couldn’t believe that he had got it right,” he said.
As a nocturnal creature, Milo relies on his sense of smell to select the winner. The bright flags of the likes of Brazil and Colombia will have no effect on his precise decision making.
Despite the constant paper-talk and social media chatter surrounding this World Cup, Mr Eales added that Milo was unlikely to be swayed by any outside influence.
“He’s very headstrong and independent and he does what he wants to do. He’s a real character and a gentle chap.
“He’s a brilliant digger too because they live underground during the day,” he said.
Milo isn’t the only armadillo taking part in the World Cup, with the tournament’s official mascot, Fuleco, being a three-banded armadillo. The vulnerable species is native to South America.