China is backing out of a stunt in which pandas would make World Cup predictions, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Authorities worry that the swarm of people and cameras may jeopardize the health and safety of the animals, a spokesperson for China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas told the WSJ.
It was reported that the animals were expected to call matches by “either picking food from bowls marked with the national colors of competing teams, or climbing trees flying certain flags,” according to a post today on the WSJ blog China Real Time Report. According to the South China Morning Post, it was also suggested that pandas “would take part in races wearing the vests of different nations to predict winning teams.”
Fans will now have to turn to a Swiss guinea pig named Madame Shiva or a piranha named Pele for prognostications.