Baby pandas to predict results

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Two giant pandas, Xi Lan and Po, arrived in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province on early morning of May 15. Xi Lan and Po were both born at Zoo Atlanta in U.S. [Photo/CNS]

A crack team of baby pandas will be used to predict World Cup scores in a Chinese answer to deceased soccer soothsayer Paul the Octopus.

During the group stages in Brazil this month, the pandas, aged between one and two years old, will select food from three bamboo baskets representing either a win, loss or draw.

For the knockout rounds, the cuddly creatures will select winners by climbing trees at the panda breeding base in Sichuan Province, marked with the national flags of competing nations.

China hopes the bears will be odds-on to match the worldwide fame achieved by Paul, the German octopus which correctly predicted the results of several games at the 2010 World Cup using its tentacles. The octopus died in October 2010, not long after that year's World Cup in South Africa. Its success spawned "psychic" imitators for Euro 2012 including a pig, an Indian elephant and a raccoon.

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