- Title: CZECH REPUBLIC: Animals in Prague zoo prepare for Olympics
- Date: 27th July 2012
- Summary: VISITORS WATCHING
- Embargoed: 11th August 2012 13:00
- Location: Czech Republic
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Environment,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAD1ZB4EHQVKEZ62CK1T1M2WRH7
- Story Text: One day ahead of the London Olympics opening ceremony a Czech Zoo on Thursday (July 26) proved itself not immune from sporting fever.
Local sea lion, Meloun had the burden of expectation on her shoulders as she dived for plastic numbered floats to predict how many medals the Czech team will bring home.
"Our sea lion Meloun made his prediction (how many medals the Czech Republic is going too win) only once and I hope it will be right. I hope that Meloun as well as viewers will enjoy the outcome of the vote," said zoo director Miroslav Bobek after Meloun brought the number nine to shore.
Elsewhere in the zoo, medal winners from past Olympics named turtles and snakes after some of the 2012 sportsmen and women in an act of support.
And for the zoos younger visitors, a quiz to top up Olympic knowledge and get some animal facts thrown in.
"We will focus on the jump and on the run. When you compare the speed of a cheetah and the one by Usain Bolt - it is tricky, because even if we think that Usain Bolt runs very fast, a cheetah runs four times faster, and a run does not tire him out that much. The 'Animal Olympics' is a sort of quiz asking the people what they think about the result the animals are reaching in sport terms," said Animal Olympics organiser, Martin Smrcek, referring to Jamaican sprinter and triple Olympic champion, Bolt.
On a scalding day in Prague, not all the animals were in the Olympic spirit, with a hippopotamus family preferring a little snooze.
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