Lin Ping picks Spain to win World Cup

More than 201 million postcards were sold to people wanting to "guess-the-winner" for a World Cup lucky draw, it was concluded yesterday when the submission date ended.

This exceeded the targeted 160 million cards and was more than the World Cup lucky draw sale of 162 million cards in 2006, Thailand Post executive Omsin Chivapreuk said.

In Nakhon Sawan, sales were red hot yesterday with 2.2 million cards sold, while outlets in Lop Buri managed to sell a further 1.85 million cards.

As international reports noted the prediction of Paul |the octopus in Germany (Spain), Chiang Mai Zoo's popular panda Lin Ping got his turn yesterday to choose the winning team. The cub chose to drink milk three times from a |container with the Spanish flag. The fourth time, which |was not in the schedule, Lin Ping overturned the container with the Dutch flag.

Prasertsak Boontrakul-poonthawee, head of Chiang Mai Zoo's panda section, said they got into the spirit of the World Cup due to a barrage of requests from Lin Ping's fans via Twitter. He said the panda research team wasn't worried that Lin Ping would face death threats - as has happened to the octopus Paul - because the intent was simply to allow Lin Ping a chance to entertain the public rather than make a tip that disappoints people.

Prasertsak said the activity also functioned as a training exercise for Lin Ping to drink milk on the carer's order in front of people at the panda display. Lin Ping passed the test because he cooperated with the request.

However, Moo Aun, a seal at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, came up with a different pick. Moo Aun twice chose to eat fish from a tray carrying the Dutch flag rather than a tray carrying the Spanish flag. The 19-year-old seal, imported from South Africa in 1999, is the "alpha" male in a nine-member herd at the zoo.

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