An Orangutan Predicts Longhorn Victory Tonight, But Can Such Animals Be Trusted?

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Everyone knows orangutans like to wear people clothes or tool around with Clint Eastwood, but they're also famed football oddsmakers. To wit: Bruno, an o-tan at the Los Angeles Zoo, has predicted UT will beat Alabama tonight.

In what might be interpreted as a not-so-subtle allusion to the sport's latent homoeroticism, zookeepers placed two fruit-filled papier-mache figures representing the two teams into Bruno's cage Wednesday. The 30-year-old hairy freak of nature picked up the Texas figure first. Done deal.

But how accurate are animals at predicting anything, really? Hair Balls looked into the phenomenon.

Case #1: In July 2007, media across the nation reported the chilling tale of Oscar, a cat who lived in a Rhode Island nursing home. Whenever he curled up on a patient's bed, staff reported, they knew it was only a matter of hours before they had to chunk the body and change the sheets. (Of course, it's a well-established fact that cats are evil by nature and have been known to suck the souls out of perfectly healthy people while they sleep, and it was never clearly determined if Oscar was merely predicting the deaths, or if he actually played a more active role in the patients' expirations).

Case #2: Right on the heels of reports of Oscar, staff at a nursing home in Ohio claimed that a resident dog named Scamp had an identical clairvoyancy. A nurse in this clip talks of how Scamp has "stood guard" by the beds of dying residents. We're not sure exactly what Scamp was guarding them from, but it's possible he may have been trying to save them from Oscar.

Case #3: In March 2009, a Florida couple who owned what can only be described as a shit-ton of animals claimed that two of the brood -- a horse named Ruby, and a pot-bellied pig named Pinky -- could predict when the wife would have a seizure. Watch as the husband breaks down while explaining how these stinky beasts can do for his wife what modern medicine can't. Take that, science!

Case #4: Some animal experts believe animals in Thailand sensed the tragic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hours before it claimed 300,000 lives -- and the assholes never bothered to warn anyone.

Case #5: In 2005, four members of the extremely rare species monkeyus arcticuspredicted that you would look good on the dance floor. The outcome of this vision is still pending.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.